It doesn’t add up

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Just how finance secretary John Swinney jumps from the reported average household income of £16,267 in 2012 in Scotland (your report, 28 June) to assert that this is a hugely wealthy country is baffling – the average for the UK as a whole is quoted as £16,791.

Noting that these incomes are estimated net after income tax and national insurance have been taken into account, it seems wrong to identify them simplistically as “available for spending or saving”– housing, utilities, transport and food and clothing etc soak up the lot and then often some more; there ain’t no excess for most people.

Minimum wage gives perhaps £12,000 per annum, often associated with needing tax credits to have any reasonable standard of living and that doesn’t mean caviar and champagne (even if these have come down a bit in price).

The way forward is a large increase in the minimum wage to get folk off the bread-line. This would have to be paid for increased prices for good and services, but it would be a start in cutting back on the perceived inequality in our society – Holyrood remains dumb on how it would attack this, although it make lots of noise about how bad it is.

Joe Darby

Cullicudden

Dingwall, Ross-shire

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