THE Chancellor’s pledge of an additional £30 billion of measures to support the economy ("Sunak’s half-price meal deal to get UK spending", The Herald, July 9) is of course to be welcomed, and brings the direct cost of Covid-19 interventions to more than £311 billion.

While a seemingly large sum, when one looks at the potential economic collapse coming down the line, this is unfortunately akin to using a pea shooter against an elephant.

With the OECD predicting four million unemployed, bringing the unemployment rate to 11 per cent, what the Chancellor has done is temporarily protect jobs and livelihoods rather than providing the stimulus needed to guarantee these jobs in the long-term and get the economy moving again.

We have seen VAT reduced to five per cent for the hospitality sector, but this is a fraction of the across-the-board cut that was made in response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

What we need is major investment to rebuild the economy and yet we have had the paltry amount of less than £10 billion being used for housing decarbonisation and green homes.

There is an immense amount of capital at very low prices for the Government to borrow and invest, and this will not always be there.

The economy was already stuttering in the first quarter and has now fallen off a cliff, with the OECD predicting the UK economy will take the biggest hit in the industrialised world this year. And that is before we fully exit the EU single market and the inevitable economic challenges that creates.

We need a genuine New Deal, with billions pumped into the economy through additional borrowing if we are not to leave an economic and social wasteland for both this and future generations.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh EH9.

IF, as is being frequently commented, a different world with a different social outlook, will ensue as a consequence of Covid-19 then it would be pleasing to think that all budgets in future could have the aura of adventure and imagination suggested by Rishi Sunak's statement today. Of course, as with all budgets, it is possible to find fault with it, that maybe too many of its innovative treatments for the ailments of the economy are too short-term and temporary, sticking plaster rather than bandage. However, it is surely a product of what is an unprecedented time, and does at least show that budgets can be proactive instead of, as is almost invariably so, reactive. A wartime budget it is; maybe no appeal for us citizens to pull up our railings for collection by some or other ministry, nor distribution of spades an so as to grow veggies in our gardens.

Next we might entertain a prospect of a Basic Universal Income being introduced. Likely a step too far for a Tory administration, but maybe some other party or coalition will bring it on. A bit of a lockdown boost this is nonetheless, and no matter that it is as much a case of necessity being the mother of invention as anything else.

Ian Johnstone, Peterhead.

WE were all very grateful and happy to see Willie Coffey MSP welcome the £6m extra funding coming to East Ayrshire to help communities.

Philippa Whitford MP calls for extra funding for the furlough scheme.

It is worth acknowledging where all the money comes from: the UK taxpayer.

If Scotland was left to its own devices, for example with independence, the Edinburgh Government’s own figures tell us we’d be £12.7 billion short.

An already bankrupt Scotland would have been utterly ruined by this pandemic. We dodged a massive bullet in 2014,

Pat McPhee, Irvine.

I WAS disappointed to read your article reporting West Lothian as being the area likely to be worst hit for the proportion of jobs facing a moderate or severe impact ("West Lothian to be hardest hit with three quarters of jobs at risk", The Herald, July 7).

Conversely, the recent report by KPMG on the UK Economic Outlook highlighted West Lothian to be the least affected local authority area in the whole of Scotland.

The conclusions drawn from the SMF report do not match our own understanding of the situation.

It is accepted there are tough times arising due to this pandemic. We are working earnestly with our partners to assist those individuals affected to find alternative employment. As ever via our West Lothian Jobs Taskforce we ensure total support to assist local companies and workers in moving forward in the recovery period. West Lothian remains open to all business and for those looking to locate to our county.

Councillor Lawrence Fitzpatrick, Leader, West Lothian Council, Livingston.