AS a follow-up to my last letter in your excellent paper, printed in October (Is Holyrood doing enough on disability benefits?), I would like once again to draw attention to the situation where people over the age of 60 are being forced to go through Department for Work and Pensions assessments on the changeover from Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which is for those of any age, to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which is a benefit for people up to 65.

The DWP are using an an addendum or get-out clause that states that anyone in England, Scotland and Wales born after April 1948, or strangely enough in Northern Ireland born after June 1951 (so much for fairness) must be reassessed.

What this means is that for a benefit for people up to 65 they can reassess people up to the age of 70, and the stress that people are forced to go through is callous and even obscene. Despite contact and complaints made to SNP MP Deirdre Brook, SNP MSP Ben MacPherson and Green MSP Allison Johnstone, and also letters to Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman, up to now there have been no results, just the usual party line and nothing much being done.

As stated in my previous letter, a cynic could be forgiven for thinking that it is in the Scottish Government’s interest to carry on, as by the time something is done to remedy this there will be very few people on DLA or PIP after the assessors have finished with them.

These so-called public servant are not doing their jobs properly in allowing people over 65 to be put through these ordeals for a benefit for people up to and including 64, and I would ask everyone to remember this at the next election and to vote accordingly. I feel if it was their wages involved they would be a bit more vocal than they are now.

All it would take to get results that are positive is for the so-called Scottish Government to tell the DWP that they do not want people over 65 assessed for a benefit for people upto 64 and have a bit of backbone to back it up. This has been going on for far too long to be forgotten about by these politicians. An awful lots of older ones are suffering because they are paying lip service and we are seeing no results.

S G Simpson
Address supplied

WHAT price is the UK willing to pay for its special relationship with the USA?

The US President unilaterally decides to leave the Paris Agreement on climate change, apply sanctions on China, tear up the Iran nuclear agreement and threaten our companies with US boycotts if they do not end connections with Iran.

Our special relationship didn’t even secure our Foreign Secretary a personal meeting with the president; the UK Government had to send Boris Johnson to appear on US TV in the hope that Donald Trump might be watching. The Foreign Secretary’s TV interview can only be described as a national disgrace, raising fawning appeasement to a level not seen since the 1930s.

Even the most ardent Brexiteers can surely see with absolute clarity the utter madness of leaving the largest trading block in the world in the hope of securing trade agreements with the US and countries with which it has trade links. The US President apparently only honours agreements as long as it suits him and has no hesitation in threatening punitive action on every other country trading with the US that does not meekly fall in line.

If ever there special relationship with the US it is now a mythical one, existing only in the imagination of senior UK politicians seeking to be seen as players on the world stage.

Maggie Jamieson
South Queensferry

HAVE to disagree with Charlie Kerr (Letters, May 8) over the unit price of booze.

I went into my usual supermarket and found that six of my usual beers had only gone up by about 60 or 70 pence. I buy a bottle of whisky about every three to four months and on checking it had gone up about three quid.

As someone who like Charlie is retired, this increase means my booze price has gone up by no more than about a couple of pence on each beer a week and maybe a bit more on a nip of whisky.

I do not class myself as a hard drinker and like Charlie live miles from any pub, so my tipple is taken in the house, usually over the weekend.

I do not consider this increase to be prohibitive as it appears it is targeting the cheap rot gut sold by supermarkets who sell their booze without a social conscience, unlike pubs who have to face the licensing board over alcohol-induced bad behaviour.

In light of the new research over the amount we drink, perhaps this will make those who sink booze every night stop and think about the damage to themselves and families and the pressure it puts on NHS Scotland.

Let’s not forget alcohol is a legalised form of drug, and as we all know drugs aren’t good for you.

Bryan Auchterlonie