It is a strange exposition of Scotland’s employment situation that makes no attempt to split the numbers into private sector and public sector (for the latter, both devolved and reserved); nor is there an indication of the treatment of part-time posts in the numbers (George Kerevan, Perspective, 16 November)
Scott Macnab’s news report (15 November) did not analyse them either.
The problem is that the economy, which drives employment prospects, is a matter reserved to Westminster, so rather than the Scottish Government being implicitly accused of not being concerned, it is Scotland Office minister David Mundell who should be concerned that we do not have adequate powers.
His remarks about Scotland’s two governments (Holyrood and Westminster?) needing to work together for the benefit of Scotland do not reconcile with claims that the benefits of the Olympic Games in London would spin off here, given that the plus-factor in the employment figures for the rest of the UK is being attributed to that source.
It is apposite that the only reference in the report to jobs falling in the public sector came from the CBI Scotland policy executive Lauren Paterson.
While Scottish Labour blames the SNP, and the SNP blames the Tory-led coalition, the reality is that the cuts originated with Labour’s 13 years of high tax and cheap credit-driven so-called growth, plus its accumulated public sector deficit of £178 billion by the outset of the 2010 general election, that funded an exponential increase in the public sector.
Only by identifying the numbers in the statistics can we get a picture of how the proper economy is performing; for example, the public sector reductions might be over- whelming an increase in public sector employment.
Douglas R Mayer
Gerry Hassan’s main message (“Nat-bashing won’t help the unionists’ cause, Perspective, 17 November) can be summed up thus: “Ask not what Labour can do for Scotland; ask rather what Scotland can do for Labour”.