GOVERNMENT funding is about priorities. In Scotland, there is prioritisation of foreign policy and aid (which are reserved issues), "free" bus travel for under 19s, who already have reduced fares ("Free bus travel for first-time voters ahead of election", The Herald, February 27), and "free" sanitary products for all women and girls. Meanwhile, the much-vaunted "care for the elderly" policy is on its knees – resulting in a high rate of bed blocking in hospitals – and drug rehabilitation centres have closed. That is before we mention the time (and therefore money) spent on government civil servants trying to devise another prospectus for a second independence referendum.

It is time that Scots were honestly told that they cannot have everything for free and that hard choices have to be made. I see no sign of the SNP government attempting to do that.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh EH14.

GROUNDHOG Day is upon us again with the announcement that the SNP and the Greens have agreed on a budget for 2020/21. Year after year Patrick Harvie gets to feel important believing he is influencing Government policy. Last year he secured a commitment to develop legislation to replace council tax "with an intention for draft legislation published before the end of the parliamentary session". How did that work out?

This year the carrot held in front of the Greens was to deliver free bus travel for under-18s. Mr Harvie must have a short memory as the wording this year looks very similar. The Scottish Government "will undertake work … with a view to introducing a scheme in January 2021".

I’m not a gambler, but I bet that this commitment will go the way of many others.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

SO in an attempt to get her budget passed, SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has done a deal with the Greens which she claims means "significant investments to tackle the climate crisis". Really?

Ms Forbes's party's environmental credentials are in question after we learned just days ago that there's been a 73 per cent increase in SNP Government international flights since 2015 – a Government that is, with a wholly domestic remit. So Ms Forbes, no climate lectures, please; instead maybe practise what you preach?

Plus only the naive would now expect the Sheriffhall roundabout upgrade on the Edinburgh bypass to happen, after the SNP agreed to review it under pressure from Patrick Harvie, Greens co-convener. He opposes improving the long-term bottleneck – apparently preferring many polluting hours each day from peak time stationary vehicles and extensive misery for commuters, who sadly have few alternatives. Hardly caring for the environment nor working people, Mr Harvie.

Martin Redfern, Edinburgh EH10.

REGARDING Scotland's need for an immigrant workforce, Harry Magee (Letters, February 27) asks the question "Call that independence?" In reply I would suggest that a Scotland in charge of our own immigration system, a Scotland which could make its own decisions over Trident, over membership of the EU and with a seat at the United Nations, that absolutely could be called independence. And that would be a damn sight better than our current position of being held in the grip of a Tory Government we didn't elect, which is refusing us the right to hold a referendum on Scotland's future.

Call that unacceptable? Definitely. Yes.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

IAN McConnell is right when he writes that "Mr Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings have shown themselves to be masters of glib phrases which whip up the masses, and give fuel to the British nationalist fervour" ("Tory ‘cheap labour’ slogan is dangerous fantasy", Herald Business, February 26).

Taking back control of our borders along with blue passports IS the only reason for leaving the European Union. This masochistic enterprise, entirely the responsibility of the Prime Minister, will ensure many more will suffer – more food banks, more homeless, more xenophobia. We can look forward to many future years of Tory austerity, many more years of devastating public service cuts, every new pothole that damages our cars a jolting reminder of the economic hardships which lie ahead.

Boris Johnson's lies about the benefits of Brexit will slowly come to haunt those who voted for him, unless you're a true Tory supporter of course, trapped in a blue bubble, unable to see beyond his "no ifs, no buts" rhetoric to the future so many of us clearly see. We can be sure of one thing, the Prime Minister and his fellow Cabinet ministers will not personally endure these economic consequences, their well-paid financial strategists will make sure of that,

Paul Shaw, Dunblane.

ISN’T it peculiar that since the General Election accusations of systemic anti-Semitism in the Labour Party seem to have disappeared from the media? Doesn't it matter any more? Just as well I'm not a believer in conspiracy theories.

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

Read more: Letters: We are a de facto one-party state