Readers' Letters: Government cares about grievances, not recycling

Circular Economy minister Lorna Slater insists Westminster is wrecking Scotland's green vision (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Pool/Getty)Circular Economy minister Lorna Slater insists Westminster is wrecking Scotland's green vision (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Pool/Getty)
Circular Economy minister Lorna Slater insists Westminster is wrecking Scotland's green vision (Picture: Fraser Bremner/Pool/Getty)
On last week’s BBC Scotland Sunday Show, Green MSP Lorna Slater again resorted to using vintage divisive hyperbole. Martin Geissler may as well have been talking to the speaking clock, such was her repeated one-dimensional script interspersed with the “outraged” word at least three times before I stopped listening.

The Scottish Government got what the Scottish Government wanted out of the Deposit Return Scheme – a contrived grievance. This was compounded by Humza Yousaf’s assertion that 600 million glass bottles will be left littering the streets, beaches and parks!

Really? it makes me wonder, did glass bottles ever get recycled before the DRS was proposed or have Asda, Tesco and other supermarkets just been flytipping them ?

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It makes complete sense for Scottish businesses to remain integrated with the rest of the UK internal market with which we do 65 per cent of our exports, but rather than use this opportunity to think stronger for Scotland, the SNP/Greens choose confrontation to differ from the UK, ultimately hurting Scottish businesses.

The tactic of faux outrage, in accusing the UK Government of undermining devolution is the same tactic as accusing anyone who disagreed with the Gender Recognition Reform of being “transphobic, deeply misogynist, often homophobic, and possibly racist" (Nicola Sturgeon).

The real issues undermining Devolution are the continuing embarrassing failures heaped upon us by our inept incompetent Scottish Government.

Holyrood continues to fail us and should be closed as a superfluous bad mistake, but it is very unlikely Humza and the others will vote themselves into extinction while it is a nice little earner for themselves at our expense.

Allan Thompson, Bearsden, Glasgow

Home rules

I read your front page headline: “Revealed: Scotland’s city-sized waiting list for housing” (28 May) with a feeling of surprise at the number of people who find themselves in my situation.

I’ve been in homeless accommodation for just under a year after a relationship break-up. Fortunately, I’ve recently been offered a flat by a social housing company for which I’m incredibly grateful. I’m a single man in my mid-40s and I can’t stress enough to readers the stress being in homeless accommodation brings. I’d consider myself luckier than many as the majority of the time I have lived in a self-contained flat within the unit. I simply cannot imagine the additional pressures caused by a family being in this situation.

To my mind this raises questions around how as a society we prioritise housing building and homelessness. It seems insane to offer an incentive to property investors via council tax discounts outlined in this article. Residential properties, occupied or not, should be paying full council tax with a premium the longer they remain unlet based on a lease of at least six months.

This should “persuade” investment property owners to either let properties or accept it as a business cost. Revenue raised specifically from this tax could then be legally ringfenced to social homebuilding on either a national or local level.

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Given the constraints on borrowing placed by the devolution settlement, this would allow a stream of revenue to tackle this problem and targeted at some of the people (sadly, we can’t target the Tories) who caused and benefit from it.

Kevin Macdonald, Dundee

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