Readers' Letters: Young people must be taught how to budget

The single biggest hike in interest rates for 30 years followed by the longest ever recession, lasting well into 2024, is a hammer blow for millions trying to cope with the cost of living crisis.

While this can’t be blamed on the Tory Government alone, it has been exacerbated by around 80,000 Tory members electing Liz Truss despite warnings her economic policy would lead to soaring interest rates.

Many economists agree that the Bank of England badly misjudged the risk of runaway inflation and were far too slow to gradually start raising interest rates last year at the start of the Ukraine war when it became clear the world economy would be damaged for years to come as a result.Many, like me, of the 1980s generation saw double digit interest rates and knew there would be a day of reckoning – the era of cheap money was never going to last.

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For younger generations, many of whom are forced into lending through student loans, the lending culture has become the norm.The economic lesson is therefore not just that our central bank do more to ensure target inflation rates are met and for a sitting government to never again let a small number of members elect its leader. It goes much further, school pupils should all learn how to budget, save for rainy days and avoid high debt. Too many people are stretched to the limit so they have little money left once debts, rents or mortgage repayments are made. This is compounded by rampant inflation. Those on low income and benefits are hit the hardest and face very tough times ahead.

Making a child money-wise is a good investment in their future, reckons reader

Our governments need to ensure these groups get the help they need, including inflation matching rises in wages, pensions and benefits and learn economic lessons for the future.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

COP to this

There are ten eco-demonstration groups. Affordable Energy, Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers, Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil, Animal Rebellion, The Fridays for Future Movement, Scientist Rebellion, Last Generation and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland.

Oh dear, I hope I have not missed anyone. The world population in 1950 was 2.5 billion, 26 years ago in 1995 when COP1 took place it was 5.7bn, today it is 8bn and it will be 9.7bn by 2050 and 10.4bn by 2100. Since the 26 COPs failed to address the population issue I suggest that another eco-group is urgently needed and should be called Just Stop Breeding.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Poor distraction

Hundreds of billions of pounds lost to the UK economy within days of the reckless ideological decisions of a Prime Minister and her Chancellor. Tens of billions of pounds wasted on useless PPE and a malfunctioning track and trace service with contracts passed to friends and supporters of the governing Tory Party. Many billions of pounds written-off due to fraud and many billions more lavished in hugely over-budget UK military spending on two long-overdue aircraft carriers without aircraft, eight Type-26 frigates with work still only started on the first three and 500 Ajax armoured vehicles which have still to come into service more than five years after they were due. Yet, Alexander McKay (Letters 4 November) chooses to complain about the cost of Angus Robertson MSP, External Affairs Secretary, visiting Spain on a two-day “trade and investment” mission.

It seems either an incredibly desperate attempt at distraction from the gross incompetence of the UK Government or more than a little ironic that someone who seemingly cannot see the wood for the trees is questioning when others will “wake up and smell the coffee”.

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Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian

Isles and oil

Regarding Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael’s article on Orkney and Shetland and their ongoing arguments with the Scottish Government (Perspective, 4 November), I remember that when oil was first discovered in the North Sea, the oil companies sent low-level officers to negotiate with the local councils, thinking they were country yokels.As negotiations progressed the companies found themselves having to send top level officers as the local councils were not the yokels they thought. Is Bute House out to prove they are greater than the oil companies.A slight slant on the sovereignty of the islands. They were a marriage dowry to the king, should they not therefore be in a similar position to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in being in the gift of the sovereign?

C Lowson, Fareham, Hants


Alistair Carmichael showed how devolution has failed rural Scotland both to the south as well as to the north of the Central Belt. His article might also have highlighted the failure of the SNP to honour the pledge, given in 2020 on behalf of the party by Aileen Campbell MSP, to support the Bill put forward by Andy Wightman on behalf of the Green Party.

This change would have ensured that the European Charter of Local Self-Government would be incorporated into Scots law and would have devolved both additional financial and political powers to local councils. However, it appears that after the 2021 election the pledge given by both these parties has ended up in the dustbin of history at Holyrood.

What value is a pledge from the SNP when they disregard the promises made on their behalf?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

What a cheek!

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All Policing Minister Chris Philp is guilty of is saying out loud what millions of people in this country are saying, that economic migrants have an almighty cheek to complain about their lot in the UK whilst our native born, from all ethnic backgrounds, and Ukrainian refugees struggle to heat and eat.Beggers still can't be choosers, but migrants have carte blanche to critique their free hotel bed and board after paying thousands of pounds to enter this country illegally, via lawyers grown rich on a dripping roast of taxpayers’ money on utter madness.While Alistair Carmichael sheds crocodile tears at Philp's "shocking and callous" remarks, he and the nation's career bleedhearts never lead by example. It's now six years and two months since Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said they'd personally house refugees on their own property – another of their promises never kept.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Bright future

All governments make mistakes (Richard Allison, Letters, 2 November), but those made at Westminster are far more serious and expensive, not least over the Brexit disaster, supported by Labour and the Lib Dems, that has devastated Scotland’s exports, and the main reason the UK is in terminal decline. Or the Tory mini-Budget that required a Bank of England bail-out, plus Westminster's expensive energy supply failures that will bring hardship to many this winter.

Mr Allison’s blaming the SNP for a delayed CalMac ferry sensor part is indicative of the ferry failures becoming a political witch hunt with the wrong targets, as Richard Leonard’s desperate attempts on TV to implicate Nicola Sturgeon by innuendo clearly illustrate.

Commercial shipbuilding on the Clyde was effectively killed off when successive Westminster governments failed to invest some of the hundreds of billions the UK Treasury earned in the heyday of North Sea Oil into modernising Scottish shipbuilding and manufacturing industries. Norway and Denmark did so, and became world leaders in shipbuilding and renewable energy manufacturing.

Ferguson Marine has had its troubles but it is being retooled with new shedding and a re-energised 400 strong workforce including dozens of local apprentices. You could not have foreseen that seven years ago.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

No justice

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A man in Perthshire is jailed for 18 months after the baby he was baby-sitting ingested some cocaine from his finger, causing it to have near-fatal heart failure. 18 months. Scottish justice is a contemptible laughing-stock yet again. Words fail, apart from these.

Steve Hayes, Leven, Fife

Man with no plan

The Alice-in-Wonderland message contained in the letter from Mary Thomas appears to show she misinforms both herself and readers (2 November).

The fact of the matter is that Holyrood has devolved responsibility for the NHS in Scotland and for Humza Yousuf to say, on record, that it will take five years to reform the NHS without providing one iota of detail of the plan to do that is totally irresponsible and illustrates the lack of experience and competence in the Minister and his team of advisers.

It is no good at all to yet again blame Westminster for not giving the SNP yet more money to waste on pet projects as Ms Thomas avers, added to the fact that the SNP/Greens could alter taxation bands if they need more money to fund correction of their past errors, on top of all the extra cash received from UK Treasury additional to the Barnett formula regular payments.

Maybe it would be better if Ms Thomas could direct her ire at our First Minister and her team leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, and promote the cessation of the non-stop flow of criticism and insults that we hear and see being uttered daily against English ministers and politicians.

This is not the way to run a devolved assembly for the benefit of the people of Scotland.

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Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

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