IN his criticism of the SNP Government, I note that Labour Councillor Alex Gallagher (Letters, September 2) makes no mention of the fact that the SNP has delivered more than 80,000 baby boxes, increased child care and ensured cheaper council tax (on average £500 less than England) with health funding up more than 60 per cent under the SNP; and that it was the SNP Government which expanded the Educational Maintenance Allowance (scrapped south of the Border), with full-time college students benefiting from the highest bursary of anywhere in the UK; in addition, the SNP Government has delivered more than 89,000 affordable homes since 2007, including more than 61,000 for social rent, mitigated the bedroom tax, scrapped prescription charges and provided free university education to Scottish students, based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay. And in the middle of a world pandemic, Scotland's First Minister has radiated competence, resolve and commitment on a daily basis, demonstrating exceptional leadership during some very dark days.

In reply to Councillor Gallagher's question "If the Scottish people vote in line with the current polling numbers next year, what will they be voting for?" I would suggest that they will be voting for all of the above, and a whole lot more.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

IAN Johnstone's excellent letter (September 2) led me to a little research, and I found that it is a matter of record and fact that Scotland paid more per head into the coffers of the UK Government than Britain as a whole in every year from 1980/81 to 2011/12, indeed from probably before then.

As Mr Johnstone points out, it was during that period that John Major, at the behest of Ian Lang. then Secretary of State for Scotland, came up with the GERS wheeze.

No doubt we will have to thole the annual bunfight over GERS every year until independence. Indeed, I'm going to add that fact to my long list of reasons why Scotland must become an independent country.

John Jamieson, Ayr.

FRASER Grant and P Davidson (Letters, September 2) ignore the economic facts about Scotland separating from the world's fifth-largest economy.

Before the 2014 independence referendum the SNP said that Scotland would "share" the pound sterling with the UK in a currency union, which would have meant interest rates and monetary policy would have been set by the Bank of England. That was a non-starter because the bank said it would not underwrite the Scottish economy. Now we are told after this "once in a generation" vote that a second attempt should happen and that Scotland should set up its own currency either in the first term of the new parliament or any time up till 10 years thereafter.

With a huge deficit that idea is unsustainable, because Scotland would not have the cash to back a new currency in the international markets. A new currency would immediately devalue against the pound, making everything we import much more expensive and any asset – from pensions to property – worth much less. Its effect on Edinburgh's vital financial centre which manages billions of assets in pounds sterling would be catastrophic.

Professor Ronald MacDonald, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Finance at Glasgow University, has said that following the introduction of the new currency "any debt repayments, such as those on mortgages and credit cards, that remain denominated in sterling would rise sharply. Since it is likely that state pensions would be re-denominated into the new currency post-independence their value would also be worth less.”

The SNP executive has shown little financial acumen in balancing the books all the years it has been in office, during which Scotland has received more than £60 billion in fiscal transfers from the UK Treasury. Without the largesse of the Barnett Formula giving every man, woman and child a £2,000 a year bonus, or the £5bn for coronavirus support, the Scottish economy would go belly up. With a national deficit six times that of the UK, the SNP is relying on the British Government, the same British Government which it despises, to bail it out of its general mismanagement of the economy.

Following separation the Scottish economy would be in dire straits and would have to seek a bail-out from the IMF, as other countries have had to do before. This would mean the cuts to public spending I have mentioned, including pensions, and privatisations of state assets to raise cash, which the IMF has insisted on previously as a condition of liquidity. There is also the South American "o confisco" option – confiscation of high value savings, which, nearer to home, Cyprus discovered during its banking crash seven years ago.

William Loneskie, Lauder.