I’M very impressed with Kezia Dugdale’s announcement that Labour will charge Scots an extra penny on income tax in order to raise another £500 million a year (Labour’s 1p tax rise ‘to hit low earners’, The National, February 3).

Any well thought-out plan like this needs a snappy soundbite for maximum voter appeal, so I suggest calling it A Penny for Trident Tax.

As already admitted by Conservative Crispin Blunt MP, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, the Trident nuclear weapons system is anticipated to cost more than £160 billion over its 30-year lifetime.

That makes the Scottish taxpayer’s share around £480m annually.

So it appears that Labour’s plan to impose this extra penny in tax will cover the cost of the party’s stated policy of Trident renewal.

The Liberal Democrats also share the extra penny idea and the Conservatives will as usual, just take this money from the poorest in society.

However, shame on the SNP, SSP and Scottish Greens for not publicly stating how they will find the extra £480m in funding if they don’t adopt Scottish Labour’s Penny for Trident Tax.

Roddy MacNeill
East Kilbride

MUCH has been made in the press over the last few days regarding the SNP’s “penny for Scotland” in 1999.

My distinct recollection of this is that, in his in his March Budget of that year, the then Chancellor of the Westminster Labour Government, one Gordon Brown, surprised everyone by announcing a cut in income tax from 23p to 22p.

The SNP’s position which I remember discussing with Andrew Wilson, then of the SNP hierarchy, was that the party could not support such an unjustified cut at that time. The SNP were not in power in 1999 either in Westminster or Holyrood and in the event were in no position to raise income tax.

The current myth of those of a Unionist persuasion is that the SNP proposed a “rise” in income tax.

They were in no position to do so, they were merely expressing opposition to Gordon Brown’s cut, which seemed a wrong option at that time.

If my memory further serves me correctly, the LibDems at that time were proposing a one pence increase – effectively a two pence increase in the light of Brown’s cut.

Robert Roddick

REGARDING the discussion about the first and list vote. Despite supporting independence since 1979 and being a founding member of Democracy for Scotland (sleeping out on Carlton Hill when Thatcher won again), I will be voting SNP 1, Green 2.

This is because the next five years are about the Scottish Parliament, not just indyref2, and although the SNP are doing quite a good job, they could do more.

Specifically, I want to live in a world that is worth living in, not a polluted, fracked, barren, littered dump.

The Greens got seven seats in the first Scottish Parliament, when people optimistically voted with their heart, and they can do so again.

A strong Green contingent will co-operate with the SNP over independence (and Westminster will hate that) while holding the SNP’s feet to the fire (to coin a phrase) over fracking, renewables, land reform and de-centralisation, for example.

However, before we all get carried away, shall we wait and see what is in the manifestos?

Karen Allan

A LOT of letters about Professor Curtice’s second vote scenario (The Holyrood list vote and the risks of voting tactically, The National, February 1). We have Rise asking us to lend them our second vote as are the Greens and Solidarity.

It really can’t work unless all three of them co-operate on who will stand where and none compete against each other.

This would mean only Rise would stand in a couple of areas where no Greens or Solidarity would stand. Solidarity would take another few regions, and the rest go to the Greens.

The next and most important part is that the SNP win all constituency seats – and that is not guaranteed. Unless those wanting our second vote can prove that all the seats are already ours (no need for elections then, is there?) then I think my second vote will be for the SNP as usual.

While my mind is working (I think), I have another point: what is the amount of voters now registered, compared to the amount registered for the referendum?

Just wondering how many are missing and who they would vote for given the chance come May.

Charles P O’Brien

AS ever John Curtice has provided a deep insight into the electoral process with his recent article.

But why the confusion over the use of the second vote?

Surely the forthcoming election is the perfect opportunity to remind the SNP hierarchy of their muddled approach to land reform?

The autumn conference defeat and the recent disastrous decision to approve the Loch Lomond camping by-laws suggests that ministers have stumbled off the path.

A second vote for the Greens might provide the answer, with a Green environment minister to lead us out of the jungle and ensure that a future SNP-led government gets back on track.

Nick Kempe

ON Saturday, followers of Roosh V are apparently to assemble at the Cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow, and at the statue of the Covenanters, in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh at 8pm.

Now I’m sending out a challenge to the men of Scotland.

Are you prepared to assemble at these places, and show what you think of men who advocate rape, plying a woman with alcohol and drugs, in order to use her for sex, then issue threats of severe retribution against any women who turn up to demonstrate against them?

Roosh V has told his followers to be sure to take pictures of the women. I wonder what lies behind that? Now, apparently, the way to identify his followers is to sidle up to them and ask: “Can you direct me to a pet shop?” If he answers, “It’s right here,” then bingo.

So gentlemen, are you prepared to turn out in solidarity with the women of Scotland, your sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, friends, and colleagues, to stop this?

Are you prepared to identify these lowlifes, and take pictures of them to be distributed on social media, so that any woman who should run into one of them, will know to run like fury?

Morag Lennie