IT is obvious that the UK Government is attempting to sabotage Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme, which is based on Finland’s successful version, at the 11th hour by demanding that glass is excluded when as recently as January 20 the Welsh government, with no Westminster veto, announced its scheme including glass bottles as recommended by the Tory-chaired Westminster Audit Committee and Keep Britain Tidy amongst others.

The UK Internal Market Act is being used to drive a coach and horses through devolution by the Tories at Westminster while Labour just abstains and does nothing to defend Holyrood’s powers.

The BBC’s Martin Geisler gave the game away on the Sunday Politics Show when he said that “devolution means Westminster having a leash on the Scottish Parliament that can be tugged when Scotland gets ahead of itself” ("Calls for statement from Slater over UK blow to DRS launch", The Herald, May 29). Even essential health policies such as alcohol minimum unit pricing and the smoking ban could have been delayed by several years had the UK Internal Market been in force.

What is the point of devolution if Holyrood is prevented from introducing distinctive policies within its powers just because the UK Government disagrees with any given policy? No wonder a majority of voters backed independence in the most recent Ipsos Mori opinion poll.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

• MUCH will be written in the next days, weeks, and even months about the proposed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). Sides will be taken politically, vested interests will spin their tale of selected facts, opinions will be expressed in the media ranging from the well-informed to the usual talking heads. We the public who will ultimately make the scheme work or not will be perplexed, confused and maybe even bored with it all.

However, one thing is certain and not up for debate. The UK Government has the ultimate power to set the terms of the DRS in Scotland no matter what the Scottish Government decides. This fundamental truth about power, not just in the context of recycling in this country, but across the political spectrum, makes it our business and we as individuals will be able to decide at the next General Election where we want that power to lie.

S Campbell, Moffat.

Read more: Kirk should take a political stance – to defend the poor

Yousaf should look in mirror

ATTACKING the UK Government’s response to the Green/SNP Deposit Return Scheme, the First Minister says that this is a further attempt by Westminster to undermine devolution. In this case, however, Mr Yousaf should take a look in the mirror ("Yousaf hits out at deposit return scheme conditions", The Herald, May 27).

The purpose of devolution was to allow Scotland to go its own way on matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The authors of the 1998 Scotland Act expected that this power would be used where it was to Scotland’s benefit and also made sense. In the case of the Green/SNP deposit return shambles, their plan is both damaging to Scottish business and does not make sense.

Scottish drinks manufacturers sell their products across the UK. Our shops sell drinks manufactured in other parts of the UK. For Scotland to go it alone on a Deposit Return Scheme makes no sense at all. Quite simply, it goes against the spirit of the 1998 Act and so undermines devolution.

Scotland does need a Deposit Return Scheme, but a unified UK one. Ms Slater and Co should not have wasted their time, and our taxes, designing their ill-considered scheme. They should have instead worked constructively with the rest of the UK. That way they could well have made the proposed UK scheme much better. But instead we have a mess with Westminster and Holyrood at loggerheads yet again.

I suppose that I am being unrealistic to expect the SNP and the Tories to work constructively together. Both parties thrive on division and feed off grievances. The sooner voters kick both parties out of office the better for Scotland – and for the rest of the UK.

Alistair Easton, Edinburgh.

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Parties need to up their game

IF the SNP is so bad and Scottish pro-UK parties think they're so good, why do polls only predict Labour will win 24 seats and Tories and LibDems eight between them – a total of 32? The last two should win at least the 17 they won in 2017, leaving the SNP with 18 seats. But that would involve them vastly upping their game from just slagging off the SNP to providing common-sense alternatives, inspiring leadership and avoiding splitting the vote.

On current form, however, I have my doubts.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.

Our MPs are shameless

FOR once the disgraceful Margaret Ferrier affair has done us all a favour by highlighting the true nature of our Westminster MPs.

When a quorum of 35 MPs is required to vote on her 30-day suspension they are not to be found ("Labour accuse SNP of trying to delay Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election", The Herald, May 27). All the hot air of indignation disappeared as they all headed for their holidays without a backward glance. Labour, SNP, Tory, LibDems all were found missing in action. Clearly they could not care less when faced with the choice of doing the right thing or delaying their holidays.

Oh and by the way, why does the general public get a one-day bank holiday and our superannuated politicians get a full week?

Public servants? I don't think so. Actions always trump words.

Ian McNair, Cellardyke.

Read more: Livingstone should pay the price for failings of his force

Where we always fall down

IAN McConnell has expressed enthusiasm and optimism at the recent international investment in Scottish companies ("Will talk of Scotland’s success put a smile on Ross’s face?", The Herald, May 26).

The question we should be asking is, why are foreign companies so keen to invest?

They invest in emerging innovative and inventive companies that have received generous start-up grants, often from the UK or the Scottish governments. These companies are ready to expand and need financial support.

What happens next is predictable. There has been a depressing and repeated pattern of small companies receiving support from a foreign company only to be taken over by the investing company. Ownership moves overseas along with all future manufacturing and profits.

These foreign investors are predators. The UK is very good at invention and innovation, the rest of the world knows this.They know we are great at start-ups but useless at scaling up.

A shaming example of this is medical ultrasound, invented in Glasgow in the 1960s. Almost every department of every hospital around the world uses ultrasound yet none of this equipment is manufactured in the UK.

If things had been different, we could be exporting these around the world. If we were better at exploiting our own inventiveness perhaps we could actually afford the things we want, like a well-financed health service.

Gwynneth Lightbody, Milngavie.

We were forced to buy a house

IT was interesting to read Doug Marr’s article on Professor James Sefton ("Invest in young to narrow wealth gap", The Herald, May 29). Prof Sefton seems to think “young people” should be questioning the comfortable position some of us auld yins find ourselves in. One of the issues is understandably housing or owning versus renting.

When I was a young family man in my twenties life was good and I had reached the dizzy heights of sales manager for a brewer, but still lived in a council house in Bishopbriggs, just round the corner from where I grew up. It was a lovely wee four-in-a-block two-bedroom house and we were happy.

However, on the arrival of my second daughter we sought a move to a semi-detached with three bedrooms as per the tradition of council housing. Unfortunately Mrs Thatcher and her cronies had decided to sell off millions of council houses at almost 30% of the value. It was called the right to buy.

Despite being completely opposed to the notion we were faced with a stark choice: buy our council house and stay in it for the mandatory three years before selling at a profit big enough to allow us to buy a three-bedroom house, or be stuck in our four-in-a-block for ever.

This was reality versus principles. Within about 15 years we basically wiped out the millions of excellent council houses available as they became owner-occupied by people like me.

At 33 years old I entered the property market but not really by choice. It’s a bit unfair to be considered a drain on society by some when my generation are still contributing by spending our pensions and boosting the economy. We’re certainly not “hoarding our wealth" even if we have any.

John Gilligan, Ayr.