Paying our way

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Normally, I find Bill Jamieson one of your most rational contributors, but in “The buck passes back to the government” (Perspective, 1 March), he seems to miss the bottom line.

As a society, we have lived beyond our means for years, 
encouraged by government and banks to borrow and spend, spend, spend.

Finally the bird came home to roost and we had the banking crisis and all that went with it. The basic problem is that our society and industries are too geared to supplying commodities and services to a public that can little afford them.

We have too many shops, we spend too much on services and leisure and housing that as a nation we cannot justify.

No country should ever be allowed to live on tick, but our previous labour government run by Scots (Nationalists please note) allowed just that and, at the same time, sold off the
family silver leaving nothing for a rainy day. And then it poured and poured.

I am not an isolationist, but it is a pity we have not looked to our own ability to pay our way before we put ourselves in debt all over the world. The price now has to be paid and encouraging people to spend is not the answer. We need to re-arrange the way we run ourselves and our country so that we only spend what we can afford. This will be very painful, but the era of ever-more growth is gone.

We have to make the most of what we have got and, until we pay our debts at home and worldwide, we have not got much. We have a long way to go and we cannot dare attempt to spend our way out of it.

It is more a mind change than a fiscal change that is needed.

Ian Ross

Eden Lane