Readers Letters: Essential services suffer because Scotland has too much government

As everything in Scotland shrinks – our national and international reputation, the blue line of the police force, the Scottish National Health Service, education, roads, ferries, our fiscal competence, one could go on ad infinitum – it seems perfectly obvious that what really needs to shrink is the Scottish Parliament, which has grown to gargantuan proportions and is bleeding the coffers dry.
Do Humza Yousaf and colleagues at the Scottish Parliament represent value for the nation? (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Do Humza Yousaf and colleagues at the Scottish Parliament represent value for the nation? (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Do Humza Yousaf and colleagues at the Scottish Parliament represent value for the nation? (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The population of England is ten times the population of Scotland. It is represented by 533 MPs with overall responsibilities for all matters relating to their constituencies and all national and international matters over which they have legislative responsibility or interest.

Scotland has 59 Westminster MPs, all with the same remit. In addition, Scotland has 129 MSPs, 73 of whom have constituencies and 56 who are regional without the encumbrance of a constituency, dealing with purely devolved matters.

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All these MSPs have numerous members of staff, there is a large civil service and burgeoning quangos. Each enjoy a luxury of offices, generous salaries, expenses and, of course, the buildings to accommodate them with their army of advisers.

Scotland is badly governed by an extra unnecessary layer.

This has had a catastrophic affect on local government and services. Now is surely time for an in-depth review into reforming the status quo, in time enabling resources to reach essential services.

This can be achieved by cutting back on the voracious appetite of the Scottish Parliament in its current form.

Jane Ball, Cardrona, Scottish Borders

Fair hearing?

The Michael Matheson case has been referred to the Corporate Body of the Parliament. If this body has an SNP/Green majority, can we expect a just, fair and truthful hearing? Many, sincerely, do not believe so!

William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian

Prison failings

The Scottish justice system is in danger of collapse as more and more solicitors are refusing to take on legal aid cases because the payment levels are wholly unacceptable.

The Scottish Government is refusing to review the legal aid payment system and as a result there are more people on remand, adding to the problems of overcrowding in Scottish prisons, and the maximum remand period of 140 days is frequently breached.

This situation, added to the delays of many years in the planning of two new Scottish prisons, leaves the Scottish Government looking completely incompetent with regard to the handling of the Scottish justice system.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn, Aberdeen

Pavlovian politics

So Westminster bans XL Bully Dogs from December in England and Wales, yet the SNP administration won't consider such a move. The UK Government believes that the Elgin Marbles should remain in the British Museum; the SNP’s Commons leader Stephen Flynn tweets the opposite, saying they must be returned to Greece. In both cases we see the predictable Pavlovian “being different simply for the sake of it” SNP response, even on matters unconnected with the constitution or even mainstream politics.

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Presumably, if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak were to say “black”, First Minister Humza Yousaf would say “white”?

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire

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