Equal views

One wonders what planet
Donald Lewis (Letters, 21 April) inhabits. Sweden has got household debt levels of around 170 per cent of disposable income, higher than the current level of around 140 per cent in the UK.

However, in social mobility terms it ranks near the top of the European table (just behind
Norway, Denmark and Finland).

In social equality terms it sits at the top of the table. The UK, where apparently “current policies are being proven to be working”, sits at the bottom of both these tables.

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It is hard to check but I’m guessing Sweden also doesn’t have a million people on zero-hour contracts and the same number visiting food banks every week. They also have no private schools, choosing instead to pay a bit more tax so that everyone – rather than the privileged few – gets a decent education.

As for a minimum wage, they don’t have one. Why? Because they don’t need one.

Andrew S R Gordon

Craiglockhart View

Edinburgh

Donald Lewis, in his criticism of Alex Salmond’s aspirations for Scotland, recalls Iceland going broke. Iceland, in fact, has recovered from its problems rather more quickly and effectively than the UK has.

Iceland imprisoned some bankers, while the UK protected bankers’ bonuses. Icelandic citizens in general continue to enjoy a better standard of living than we do. It seems fair to me for us to seek the same.

David Stevenson

Blacket Place

Edinburgh

Donald Lewis quotes the debt levels in Sweden and says we should aspire to stay in the UK where current policies are working and the economy is improving.

That would be the UK where the policies of the current Chancellor of the Exchequer have managed to increase the deficit he inherited by several billions of pounds, pushing it up to an eye-watering £1.5 trillion.

With debt running at around £27,000 for every citizen of the UK, that’s some aspiration.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh