Scottish economy’s problems should be at the heart of the election debate

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WHAT incentives are the SNP offering to encourage individuals and business to move to Scotland?

With the still on-going uncertainty of another referendum and now the added negative of fewer tax allowances than in England, there is little encouragement for people to move north.

We need to attract young business people here to revive our stagnating economy.

John Trotter

Mordington, Berwickshire

Scott Macnab does well to turn a focus on the economy (SNP manifesto is a familiar story, 27 April). This campaign has not seen enough attention on this most critical bedrock of Scotland, that ultimately impacts on everything. For all that many of the parties have made much of laudable, if at times rather vague, plans for helping people from the most deprived areas, it is the opportunity to secure a job that offers the greatest potential for overcoming poverty.

So, creating a genuinely positive environment for business should be viewed as crucial by all politicians, whereas for a number, the SNP included, their commitment seems to be somewhat lukewarm, with their suspicion of business often coming to the fore. Currently, the SNP puts doubts in the minds of business, with its plans for a renewed campaign in the summer to separate us from our largest market. When the threat of job losses is in the air, the SNP are quick to talk to business to find solutions, which is absolutely right. They could equally serve the interests of Scotland, if they could get over their distaste for the world of commerce and give reassurance where of late all they offer is uncertainty.

Keith Howell

West Linton, Peeblesshire

No matter how one slices the latest economic figures published for Scotland (covering both the offshore and onshore activities), our current performance should be a cause for great concern as we approach the Scottish elections.

Take for example the latest net revenue figures from North Sea oil and gas, a mere £35 million and not the £7-plus billion promised by the SNP.

In addition we now have a divergence of performance with the rest of the UK – our unemployment rate is now much higher (+20 per cent), our GDP growth (0.1 per cent) much lower. Clearly the oil and gas sector has been a major factor in spite of being told by the SNP that oil was merely “a bonus”. However, it is now evident that the continuing uncertainty about the possibility of a second referendum is also now making a significant negative impact. For example the recent announcement by Scottish Widows to exit from Edinburgh.

Ian Lakin

Murtle Den Road, Milltimber, Aberdeen