Highland Council is considering cuts to the school day to reduce costs. This erosion of an essential public service will anger parents. We should not, however, overlook the irony in this.
Residents in the Highland communities of Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston have just received copies of a survey by the local community company to canvass opinion about the potential use of land in Fort Augustus as a “dog walking area” among other things. This land would be purchased out of community company funds and a prospective grant from the Scottish Land Fund. The logo of the Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company is a wind turbine. It indicates that a major source of its funding is a “community benefit” paid by energy companies in selected localities where they seek support for highly profitable wind farms.
This highly arbitrary system of “community benefit” payments is possible only because we all contribute, without our consent, to the enormous profits of wind farm developers and landowners through subsidies we pay on our electricity bills.
Essential public services are being eroded by austerity economics. They are being replaced by frivolous schemes administered in the interests of private companies, many of which legally avoid full UK tax liability by registering subsidiaries in overseas tax havens. No wonder politicians throughout Britain and Europe are wringing their hands at the realisation that they are held in growing contempt by their electorates.
(Dr) Ken Brown
Dundreggan Bungalows Glenmoriston, Inverness