Blame London

In her near 500 words Maureen Henry (Letters, 8 January) displays the customary lack of appreciation about how Scotland’s finances work.

That pervades many similar letters: first priority: target the SNP – then dream up the rhetoric.

All nationally-based tax raised in Scotland is shipped off to the UK Treasury – we receive a block grant for Holyrood programmes. Council tax is also available.

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Thirteen years of Labour Westminster government stacked up commitments for which there were no available funds, so they created a £160 billion deficit through borrowing.

It has fallen to the coalition to clear up the mess – hence the cuts we have already experienced.

The Holyrood budget is finite, and we have no powers to vary it.

Maureen Henry better be prepared for worse to come – the next tranche of cuts will reduce Holyrood spending by a further £5 billion.

I suggest she writes to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with a list of where she thinks the previous cuts should have been borne, along with her list of potential areas for further reduction.

Regarding means testing, it is common knowledge that the cost of administering the necessary checks far outweighs any savings from, say, depriving the children of the professional classes she describes of the service, especially when the vast amount of tax they pay is considered.

And when the SNP blame Westminster, they are usually right.

Douglas R Mayer

Thomson Crescent