Parties taxed

John Swinney bemoans the “UK Government’s approach to public finances” and the challenges of an 8 per cent budget cut over 2011-15; Labour wants expenditure reinstated (your report, 23 January).

Can a cross-party consensus not be built to use the power of the Scottish variable rate of income tax to maintain expenditure in the interests of the Scottish people? Or are they too partisan to collaborate and too scared to use it?

Chris Mitchell