WE waited to see what the new Tories under Liz Truss were going to be like. Pretty much all sensible people had grown sick of the lies, sleaze and corruption of the Boris Johnson fiasco, so we were hopeful of a positive change.
Ms Truss undoubtedly has many massive problems to deal with. After all we have a record number of citizens (including even nurses) begging for food at food banks. We have an NHS in major crisis. There are many people being forced to choose between food and heating.
It was therefore with disbelief that the news today identified Ms Truss’s first priority. She is going to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses imposed after the bankers’ greed had caused the meltdown and subsequent austerity after 2008 ("Truss willing to be ‘unpopular’ in bid to grow UK’S economy", The Herald, September 22).
Rewarding the bankers for causing so much misery by giving them a huge bung might be a priority for Ms Truss. But most ordinary people struggling to make ends meet will think it beyond wicked. And they would be quite right.
K Heath, Kirriemuir
• THE Tories are a pathetic one-trick pony when it comes to economic policy. Liz Truss, chosen by just 81,000 Tory Party members, trumpeted in New York that other nations should adopt the UK’s "trickle-down" approach, cutting taxes on the wealthy whose bloated wealth will then ‘trickle down’ to the hoi polloi. This daft suggestion was immediately rebuffed by President Biden, who said he was "sick and tired" of the approach which has never worked.
The IMF recognises that a major driver of inequality has been "trickle-down" economics. Increasing the income share of the top 20 per cent, Ms Truss’s policy, results in lower growth, whereas increasing the income share of the poor and middle class increases it.
Ms Truss’s foreign policy is just as dire. As she prepares to shred the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Biden bluntly informed her there won’t be any US trade deal. Brexit is going well, isn’t it?
Scotland, where sovereignty rests with the people, not with Parliament, needs to end this farce of a Union. Then little England may discover just how alone it really is, and finally do something about it.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh
Interests of the weakest ignored
WITH Liz Truss finally admitting that the great US trade deal promised as the pay-off for "getting Brexit done" is nowhere in sight, can we put away the false notion that our cost of living crisis is the result of the Russian war with Ukraine? The libertarians who saw opportunities for personal gain by taking us out of the EU created this situation. It was spiralling downward long before the war in Ukraine impacted on fuel supplies, providing a convenient scapegoat for those who should be first in line to take the blame.
Ms Truss fully embraced Brexit and backed Boris Johnson right up to his final moments in office. She and others in her Government were complicit with Mr Johnson and they have no economic solutions to offer other than to further boost the wealth of the wealthy in the hope that they might buy us a way out.
The Government in London is evidently unwilling to govern in the interests of the weakest and most vulnerable among the population. Now is the time for Scotland to break free before these people do any further harm to our country.
Ni Holmes, St Andrews
Glee for the energy giants
TODAY we have heard from the Westminster Government regarding assistance for the business sector with the crisis over the cost of fuel ("Energy bills for businesses to be capped in £25bn intervention", heraldscotland, September 21). However, there were no details of where the funding was coming from to financially support this package.
The UK Government’s answer to the energy cost crisis seems to be a price cap for households and businesses, but this price cap will see energy companies rubbing their hands, adding to their enormous profits, while taxpayers pay dearly for generations to come. One of the energy companies supplying many UK customers is wholly owned by the French Government, so are UK taxpayers financing the price cap imposed in France?
As yet we do not have the full details regarding today’s announcement. That may come on Friday when a statement in the Commons in the form of a Budget is expected from the new Chancellor. In light of the cost of living crisis and winter just around the corner when our NHS will experience unprecedented demands on services, he must reinstate the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit along with a review of the 3.1% increase to welfare benefits this year in an effort to alleviate demands on the health service due to poverty and hardship.
Catriona C Clark, Falkirk
• EVEN those with only half a brain by now understand what those with a full complement of grey matter have been saying for decades: that selling off the UK’s public utilities to profiteering companies and foreign governments was the nearest thing possible to insanity without medical sectioning.
Surely the biggest problem the 21st century faces is that the politicians who do these things are then allowed to walk away from the mess they leave behind with their pockets full of the taxpayers' money; fully primped and preened with wholly unmerited deference, knighthoods and front row seats at the Queen’s funeral.
DH Telford, Fairlie
Life gets tougher for the SNP
WE all know Liz Truss has a massive in-tray of problems. Not to be outdone, as usual, it now appears Nicola Sturgeon's in-tray is even fuller ("Anger as 'lack of SNP planning' for refugees hits services", The Herald, September 21). This is all due to the SNP's biggest failing of not thinking ahead and is manifesting itself everywhere from lack of GP appointments, a dental service in crisis, hugely unacceptable A&E waiting times, a justice system in meltdown and an education system that is simply not up to the job.
Ms Truss now appears to be making life even tougher for the SNP-Green alliance with expected income tax cuts and now possibly stamp duty cuts for house purchases, both of which will highlight the already higher cost of these north of the Border. All of this shortly before the SNP's annual conference where party members might just be given a chance to shine a light on all of this. That ought to be an illuminating experience.
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow
Time for change in Scotland
JUST how much longer will this incompetent Scottish Government hide behind the pandemic to cover up its own shocking failures in its domestic policy agenda? The latest waiting times in Scottish A&E departments ("Health Secretary Yousaf under pressure after A&E wait times hit new record", The Herald, September 21) are nothing short of appalling and will ultimately result in untimely and unnecessary deaths.
What will it take for the nationalist supporters to finally realise that their dreams of utopia via independence are simply fantasy? It is about time they woke up to the reality of a Scottish Government failing the people they are supposed to serve across all aspects of public policy from health and education to transport and infrastructure. It is time for change and Nicola Sturgeon knows this herself.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh
Why I can no longer vote Tory
I SHARED more of Neil Mackay’s sentiments regarding the decline of the UK than I should admit ("Unionists and nationalists must own up to their failure", The Herald, September 20). Having told my retiring Tory MSP before the 2018 UK Generald Election that I could not vote for Boris Johnson and that the Scottish Tories must separate from the UK party, I broke my own belief and to my shame I voted Tory again.
Having had time to regret and reconsider, I have come to the conclusion that my centre-right politics is no longer represented in the UK Parliament. Not that there aren’t a few Tory MPs with similar views to mine, but there are too many career politicians and a whipping system that deters all but the strongest independent minds from stating centre-right views.
I could not have imagined considering voting for an independent Scotland until recently. If, however, Scotland could start with a written constitution, political parties publicly funded and independent of interest groups, votes for what candidates believe and not parties, and a qualification for candidacy to be an MSP of 10 years' work experience outside politics, then I could be tempted to vote for it.
Andrew Montgomery, Prestwick
• IT must be very gratifying for Adam Tomkins ("Scottish Parliament has turned into a zombie parliament", The Herald, September 21) to know that, in contrast to the Scottish zombie parliament, the incorruptible parliament of Westminster never has party managers or whips marshalling members to vote in support of motions or defend the indefensible. It us well known that party whips are never used at all.
Peter Dryburgh, Edinburgh