Instead, despite a brief boom, the economy soon faltered due to stagflation and a wage-price spiral; the election was consequently lost.
Fifty years later, and also two years before an expected election, we find ourselves in a similar position. Sterling continued its free fall this weekend and faced par with the dollar as markets signaled lack of confidence in the government’s ability to generate sufficient economic growth to support the additional borrowing to fund tax cuts mainly for repay the richest in society.
While that venture has given away the largest chunk of taxes since the failed barber boom, it has also widened the widening gap between rich and poor. We shouldn’t be surprised as Liz Truss had already signaled that previous Tory and Labor governments, including her predecessor’s, had stifled growth and disadvantaged the wealthy. Playing fast and loose with the economy may please her core voice, but it will alienate the electorate in Red Wall seats that gave her predecessor the majority she now enjoys.
However, the rich are less likely to spend tax cuts on UK goods, so there will be little multiplier effect here from stimulating the income cycle. Instead, they will invest abroad in tax-privileged countries, buy foreign luxury cars and yachts and thus boost the economies of our competitors. Few expect a trickle-down effect from rich to poor, and Britain faces the generational transmission of debt.
While some political commentators see this budget as a massive risk, many will also see it as the day Britain widened the gap between rich and poor and became greedy again. Welcome back to the lottery society.
Media and opposition parties are crazy about the top tax cut. Rich businessmen and bankers were really pilloried. At least they usually create other jobs, sometimes by the hundreds. Oddly, or perhaps not so unexpectedly, soccer players have escaped mention. There are quite a few whose weekly pay is equivalent to around 500 NHS nurses altogether. Sir Keir Starmer will mention this at the Labor Party conference – won’t he?
(Dr) A McCormick, Terregles, Dumfries & Galloway
Reports of a monster are mostly misperceptions, with some hoaxes. There is no evidence of a monstrous occupant, which was always extremely unlikely anyway. The modern myth began in 1933, likely the result of an unusual wake effect. Large ships sometimes produce a large wake on Loch Ness which can be seen and misunderstood in calm weather.
Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh
Loch Ness Monster: Swimming with Nessie sounds like a good way to find out if it’s…
Listening to Nicola Surgeon as she tries to avert her NHS troubles reminds me of attending a funeral in Nigeria. It was inland and it was a traditional ceremony. Among them were rain doctors who cast a spell to prevent the rain. Of course, the day came and it rained. When I asked one of them what went wrong, he pointed to the jungle and said, “It’s a lot harder over there.” There’s a job for him in Holyrood.
After wanting to be judged on education and then not, Nicola Sturgeon has had her education secretary review the entire system, while still insisting the fundamentals are in place.
The Curriculum for Excellence has generally had bad press, and rightly so. The mere fact that the SNP is now trying to change it without admitting any real failure is a tacit admission that everything isn’t right, but that’s not really “transparent,” is it?
After 15 years of SNP rule, are any of their policies working well in Scotland? The NHS certainly isn’t.
I found your headline ‘Public knows who is to blame for NHS failures’ unfair and disturbing (Letters, 24 September).
I have spent the last year accompanying my husband first to the emergency room, then to many outpatient, x-ray, scan and chemotherapy appointments and treatments and have always experienced nothing but the most efficient, prompt and excellent care imaginable.
It is time to end this anti-Scottish Government political blame game and acknowledge that we Scots have wonderful people working as hard for us in the NHS, from cleaners to advisers and in the Scottish Parliament.
All health services across the UK are struggling due to increased demand, ongoing absenteeism due to Covid and staff shortages made worse by Brexit, and this applies to Tory-run NHS England and Labour-run Wales. Perhaps that’s why Richard Allison (Letters 24 September) doesn’t like NHS comparisons to the rest of the UK, but it helps put things in some perspective, not least as the UK Government controls overall health funding Determines by which a percentage is calculated passed to the Scottish Government.
Well over 600 beds in Scottish hospitals are still being occupied for Covid patients and layoffs are proving more difficult due to staff shortages in care facilities since leaving the EU. NHS Scotland’s A&E departments treat around 300,000 patients a year and around five per cent wait more than 12 hours because triage has shown they are not at serious risk. As an MP, Douglas Ross should know that reported consistent longer wait times in emergency departments in England are grossly underestimated as they are measured from the time a clinical decision to admit is made, while in Scotland they are measured from the time where they will be checked in upon check-in hospital.
The Scottish Government recruits many more nurses than in England and since the SNP came to power there have been 25,000 additional NHS staff with more doctors, nurses and beds per capita than anywhere else and it remains the best performing NHS in the UK Kingdom. The former Labour/Lib Dem leadership was also determined to close hospitals while the SNP has built scores of new hospitals across Scotland.
dr Richard Dixon, in his latest green sermon, attacks merchant shipping for showing no signs of the sector reducing emissions before 2030. (“Troubled waters for shipping,” September 22).
He must struggle to find new sources for his weekly articles so he can write about the millions of tons of emissions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. There are the emissions from manufacturing, transporting and firing weapons, while the destruction caused requires rebuilding, creating even more greenhouse gases. Coal power is experiencing a global resurgence due to the energy crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Scrambling to get their hands on as much coal as possible, countries are building 1,800 new coal-fired power plants; there will soon be 8,500 worldwide.
The UK has coal reserves of 114 years and the world has coal reserves of 2,900 years. Russia supplies China with 100 million tons of coal and India with 40 million tons. The UK will spend £3 trillion or £108,000 per household on Net Zero by 2050. Can Dr. Dixon afford that for his green beliefs? Will the world ever hit Net Zero, Dr. Dixon?
Mary Thomas claims that “Scotland cannot prosper without independence,” and wearisomely blames the British government for Scotland’s ills (Letters, September 24). Shouldn’t she be looking closer to home?
Scots should take responsibility for their own lives and seize all the opportunities that life in a liberal, free-market democracy has to offer. Shouldn’t they be proud of their country? Unfortunately a large minority act like they hate Scotland.
Consider how many Scots treat Scotland, their compatriots and themselves.
In urban areas almost every bus stop is opaque with scrawled graffiti. Public buildings, shop fronts and garbage cans are also defaced. School janitors walk the school grounds after lunchtime picking up garbage bags while teachers endure atrocious behavior.
In the countryside, farm gates are dumps for discarded mattresses and household appliances. In a once-pristine wilderness, drunk campers wreak havoc on beauty marks, then burn the ground with bonfires and leave trash in their wake. In April, the Scottish Government announced that violent crime had hit a 10-year high, with 9,842 crimes recorded. The number of drug-related deaths is by far the highest in Europe.
All of this has nothing to do with Westminster, but with the Scots themselves.
William Loneskie, Oxton, Berwickshire
I refer to Brian Pendreigh’s excellent obituary of Tom Springfield (September 24). He explained the origin of the name was a mystery, but I remember Dusty from the sixties saying her brother wanted an American name for her and Tom discovered that Springfield was the second most common name in the US.
The rest, as they say, is history
Scott Miller, Joppa, Edinburgh
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