And as analysis by the Health Foundation found, the UK has underfunded the NHS by £40bn a year over the past decade compared to the EU average, meaning £4bn a year less for Scotland’s NHS compared to our EU neighbours – and some wonder why the UK-wide NHS is struggling!
The budget revealed that between 2022 and 2028 the UK is expected to raise £20bn a year from Scotland’s oil and gas that we were told in 2014 was running out within five years.
Meanwhile, the UK National Debt is projected to rise from 84.3 per cent of GDP last year to a 63-year high of 97.6 per cent in 2025/26 and will be factored into Gers to show that Scotland is a subsidy junkie.
Jeremy Hunt confirmed spending £700,000 towards building the Sizewell C nuclear power plant and the UK could pay billions more if the Chinese pull out.
This is not needed in an energy rich Scotland and means higher energy bills when compared to cheaper renewable electricity.
Banks are making big windfall profits on massive £950bn of reserves held at the Bank of England, as a result of increases to the bank rate, yet Jeremy Hunt cut the Bank Corporation Tax Surcharge from 8 per cent to 3 per cent.
Brexit has meant increased food prices and data from the OBR and the European Commission confirms that the UK faces the sharpest decline in GDP in Europe by some margin.
Yet neither Tories nor Labour mentions Brexit or failed energy policy as a major factor in the UK facing years of recession.
It seems that only independence can change this direction of travel.
Future of Scotland’s wind turbines unsure
Clark Cross (Letters, 18 November) is correct to point out that the UK does not own the wind turbines on our soil, so Scotland does not own its electricity, as is often suggested in letters.
The UK’s 12,000 turbines can produce 20 per cent of the total UK energy for the national grid on days when the wind blows, and Scotland draws its electricity from the national grid. Twelve UK fossil fuel power stations have been closed since 2012, with the loss of a huge 20,425MW of continuous power into the grid. There is a serious energy shortage as we turn to unreliable wind, sun and water to generate our electricity.
A further problem is that all windmills will require replacement by 2030 on average, and many of their owners will be long gone with the subsidy money for which they were built, leaving the UK government to replace them.
Quite what would happen in an independent Scotland is unknown, as Westminster might be reluctant to replace those that would now be in a foreign country.
Wishing you all the World Cup worst
With the World Cup near, surely it is time to cast aside the knee-jerk dislike of our English and of course Welsh fellow islanders and wish them all the best. Yet that will not be the case with all.
In the 1980s I worked in Australia and among the crew were a group of Italian divers from Milan. They were listening to radio commentary of a European club champions final and when they began to cheer for the non-Italian team I realised they were fans of their same city rivals.
Scots fans’ dislike of their city rivals is also stronger than any ‘’Italian’’ success, so maybe it is normal in football for fans to wish their neighbours all the worst.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.
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