Readers' Letters: Solo Scotland might find it tough to borrow

I am no economist but it seems to me that the recent turmoil in the Bonds market arising from the UK Government’s mini-budget proposals should give supporters of independence pause for thought.

The SNP allege that when they have the levers of power they will be able to manage the Scottish economy in a better manner than is currently the case. However, I presume one of the major levers will be their ability to borrow money and I assume this would be by issuing Scottish Government bonds.

Given that market pressure has significantly increased the interest rate which investors are demanding in return for investing in UK Government bonds, which is directly related to the perceived risk of investing in these bonds, what sort of return on their investment would investors be looking to achieve for investing in Scottish Government bonds?

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As a new state with no track record and no central bank, presumably these Scottish Government bonds would be regarded as a pretty risky investment and priced accordingly. Bearing in mind that interest rates generally are set to continue to rise, how will interest on the vast sums borrowed be serviced, let alone repayment of the capital?

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes might get less than she bargained for in an independent Scotland, reckons reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Kate Marshall, Edinburgh

Happy to be here

I for one am happy that I live in Scotland and can reap the benefits that a Scottish devolved government has brought to all in Scotland.

I hear all the moans and complaints about budgets and spending, but if I lived 100 miles or so south, I would have to pay something like £43 to get my prescriptions. My trips to the local hospital would not be to the same good standard according to the information that is being reported for those south of the border.

Also, I would be looking northward to get a proportion of my electricity from mainly renewable Scottish generation.

Finally, if we are currently a United Kingdom there must be a proportion of the Bank of England (note the name) that we have contributed to that would belong to an independent Scotland, especially as a major chunk came from oil from Scottish waters.

In the main I thank my lucky stars that I am where I am and the prospects for the future are looking bright, compared to the mess that Westminster has to offer.

John Cutland, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Inquiry enquiries

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I watched Sir James Eadie presenting the UK government case re: an Indyref 2 at the Supreme Court this week with interest. In 2006 I appointed him Counsel to the Public Inquiry into the big 2005 E.coli O157 Outbreak in South Wales that I conducted for the Welsh Assembly Government.

There was a pioneering aspect to our work in that the Inquiry was the first to be set up under the 2005 Inquiries Act, under which the Covid-19 Inquiries have since been established. Our work ran smoothly and without interruption.

Our report was published 36 months after the start of the Inquiry. Unlike Covid-19 it was concerned with a single event caused by a well-known pathogen and by the failure of evidence-based infection-prevention measures that had been in place for years. I dread to think how long it will be before the findings of the far more complex Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry will appear. Time is not on its side if it is to fulfil the expectation that its work will protect us from the next pandemic.

Two questions arise. Why have a Scottish inquiry when the UK one will cover exactly the same fundamental issues, and why must a Public Inquiry be chaired by a Judge?

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

Bring on vote

Stan Grodynski is right to draw attention to the £4.5 billion lost due to mismanagement during the Covid crisis by the current Tory government (Letters, October 14). He does, however, somewhat undermine his point by suggesting that the equivalent £400 million loss to Scotland would be enough to cover the Scottish Government's waste of money on the ferry debacle, the cost of a referendum campaign and of establishing sham embassies abroad. He highlights that not only do we have a government at Westminster but also at Holyrood which misuses taxpayers' money on a grand scale.

Fortunately we do live in a democracy, contrary to daily SNP protestations that we don't, and have inbuilt mechanisms which enable us to replace failing governments. They are called elections and the upcoming ones enable us to look forward soon to the opportunity to put in place regimes which, free of paralysing constitutional argy-bargy, can concentrate on the genuine day-to-day issues of government in the public interest.

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Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh

Detestable duo

Could someone explain what is the moral difference between the following options. The first is awarding tax cuts to the very rich. The second is accepting soup kitchens for the poor, hungry and homeless on the streets of Scotland’s largest city on the coldest of nights and watching as drug deaths propel Scotland to the top of the league. In the meantime pretend embassies continue to be built and staffed and SNP ministers and their entourages swan off on eye-wateringly expensive overseas jaunts, the latest being to Iceland?

Are not both equally morally repugnant in the midst of a cost of living crisis? And, dare I say it, detestable?

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Sobering thought

The Rev. Jack Kellet's distortion of holy writ in defence of the the First Minister (Letters, 14 October) is compounded by his failure to acknowledge that two MPs, in the last six years, have been murdered while about their constituency business by people who detested what they stood for.

James Moore, Bannockburn, Stirling

Caravan crash

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has published a cost-benefit analysis of the government's plan to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030. It shows that this plan will cost every household £1,000 per year from 2022 to 2050. Incredibly, the government has not published a cost-benefit analysis of its own.

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The CEBR, however, did not factor in the effect of electrifying the car fleet on the caravan industry, which is worth £6 billion per annum to the UK economy in product sales and services and employs 130,000 people. Nearly all caravans sold in the UK today are manufactured by Swift at Cottingham, Bailey at Bristol, Elddis in Consett and Coachman in Hull. A British success story. Most caravans weigh over one-and-a-half tons and many over two tons. Battery cars cannot tow them.

This is just one industry which the government's plans will wipe out through unintended consequence. How many more industries will fail because reliable diesel and petrol vehicles will no longer be available?

William Loneskie, Oxton, Berwickshire

Football in mire

Critics miss the elephant in the room as to the chasm between English and Scottish domestic football. England's well-deserved dominance in Europe has been the end product of a determination at the highest level to ensure domestic competitions remain competitive.Scottish fans will never see wonders akin to Leicester City's “impossible” championship. The dubious penalties, the judiciously timed dismissals and suspensions of key opposition players, the gamut of sharp practice ensuring there will never be another like Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen or Gordon Smith's Dundee, Hearts and Hibernian.The central tenet at SFA HQ is nothing must threaten the Old Firm's hegemony or its poisonous miasma on society at large ever again: and with this, a massive deterrent to any investor considering committing to any Scottish club at the levels found even in non-league Wrexham and Macclesfield – let alone an English Premier side.Scottish football is the nation's metaphor – suppurating in wilful mismanagement to ensure the status quo's “ascendancy” in perpetuity. Know your place is now the Scottish way – along with the mediocrity that comes with it.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

It’s opera

I am desolated that we are to be denied the sight of the House of Lords all decked out in their ceremonial robes and coronets at King Charles' coronation next year.Being a devotee of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan I was looking forward to seeing the exact costume worn by their Lordships. Gilbert was a stickler for accuracy and in Iolanthe, under his direction, the costumes of the Knights of the Garter, Thistle, St Patrick and KCBs were declared by a critic to be “correct to a ribbon's end”; however, modern interpretations of the piece often do not bother with such niceties.

Never mind Westminster Abbey in 1953, I was hoping to see what the audience at the Savoy saw in 1882!

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Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews, Fife

It’s not opera

In your report “Bocelli sues air charter firm over old, noisy jet", you describe Andrea Bocelli as an Italian opera singer (13 October). This is wrong. Mr Bocelli may be Italian, but he is not an opera singerHe has never sung an opera. He is a popular crossover figure but an average singer. Compared to almost any operatic tenor on the circuit, his talent is minimal. He is a product of clever marketing, nothing else.

Please stop describing him and his ilk as opera singers. Real opera singers work at their profession for years, unlike this man.

Brian Bannatyne Scott, Edinburgh

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