Hollow gesture

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Nicola Sturgeon has plans to reinstate the 50 per cent tax rate in Scotland on earnings over £150,000 (your report, 4 September), with seemingly not much else envisaged for the new income tax powers Holyrood will assume within the next parliament in 2018. Understandable – the better-off are always an easy target and she won’t lose any votes. But there are only 14,000 high earners in Scotland – well below the UK average – so it’s a pretty hollow populist gesture.

At the same time Ms Sturgeon pledges to cut air passenger duty by 50 per cent or £250 million – we’ll all be delighted to shave a tenner off a fortnight in Spain but does this sit well with the SNP’s much-vaunted green credentials?

Plus, aren’t there better ways to spend our money? For example, in education, where we’ve witnessed a sharp fall in standards in our schools since the SNP assumed power in 2007 and a growing attainment gap between the more and less affluent?

In response, the Nationalists have created a miserly £25m per year educational attainment fund – does this suggest they have their priorities right?

Ms Sturgeon must formulate and communicate an effective strategy on how to generate income and then start to redress the damage her party has done to our schools, the NHS and the emergency services over the past eight years.

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus

Edinburgh