THE day after the Budget the Unionist press in Scotland was filled with banner headlines declaring a £4.6 billion Budget boost for Scotland. This sounds like a whole lot of cash, no doubt intended to increase the Unionist vote in any coming election or referendum. We are being asked to believe the good folks of the rest of the UK are putting their hands in their pockets to help the poor old Jocks in their time of need.

The devil is, of course, in the detail. Divided between the 5.5 million folk living in Scotland it works out at about £800 per person. When viewed beside the £37bn the UK Government has just spent on its very questionable Test & Trace system it takes on a different perspective.

If you factor in cuts to Universal Credit, increased energy bills, increased National Insurance, the price inflation and the like, I think I could be forgiven for not joining in the celebrations. Of course, much of this so-called windfall is actually from taxation raised in Scotland in the first place. It’s oor ain money!

I recently watched a documentary chronicling the final months of the Second World War and the misery and deprivation of post-war Europe, including scenes where the population was reduced to cutting down trees in parks, gardens and city streets for fuel. Maybe we are not quite at that stage yet but as winter approaches, 76 years later in so-called “modern day” Scotland much of our population face the dilemma of heating or eating. The price of gas, and no doubt electricity, is about to soar to a level simply unaffordable by many. How will the £4.6bn help them?

READ MORE: The Budget: Here's what the UK is controversially funding in Scotland

Somewhere, someone or some corporate body is laughing all the way to their bank – no doubt overseas and tax-free. They are squirrelling away untold riches with no thought of the misery they are leaving in their wake. The UK Government is standing on the sidelines collecting lots more VAT.

£5000 grants are being handed out to those who can afford to top this amount up from their own wealth and purchase a heat pump for between £7000 and £18,000. What about those folk who cannot afford an extra £50 to put to their current heating bill?

I have no doubt the heating will be on full in 10 Downing Street over the winter, and Boris and his family will be looking forward to a decent Christmas dinner, with no shortage of turkey.

Many others will be looking at a rather colder version of the festive season more suited to a Dickens novel.

Brian Lawson

AMID the flurry of facts and figures relating to the Budget, what has maybe not received the attention it deserves is the frightening impact of Brexit on the economy.

According to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, the impact of Brexit will be worse in the long run compared to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been estimated that leaving the EU will reduce the UK’s potential economic output by about 4% in the long term, with forecasts indicating the pandemic will reduce output by a further 2%.

It appears that, as many of us warned, far from being a “dividend” as we were promised, Brexit is proving to be an unmitigated disaster.

Alex Orr

SO Neil Barber of the Edinburgh Secular Society (Letters, Oct 18) is of the opinion that the views of anyone with religious affiliation should be disregarded because ... well, because Neil disagrees with them.

READ MORE: Lack of outrage at Tories shows Scotland must go own way

The Assisted Dying Bill raises many issues, some with religious connotations, many not. I find the Bill dangerous and frightening. Once killing is an accepted part of so-called health care, where does it end? How many elderly or disabled people will be “encouraged” to die (possibly by unscrupulous relatives) in order not to be a burden? How many will feel like suicide when they’re at a very low ebb, only to change their minds later? How many doctors have been wrong in their diagnosis? Have people with long-term conditions been asked what they want?

Safeguards will be in place at the start, of course, but they will gradually disappear, as has happened in other countries. And what about hospices and palliative care? You will not find a doctor in these establishments who will support this Bill. Will that mean that these places will be staved of any government funding? Cheaper just to kill off the patients! This is a very, very dangerous Bill. Once on this slippery slope, there’s no going back.

Elsie Boyle

THE Yes DIY page this week stated that the AUOB march and rally on November 6 will be the only large demonstration on that day. However, marchers should be aware there is also a potentially larger climate justice march and rally (with Greta Thunberg among other speakers) planned for that day. Its route also goes from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green, and the timing overlaps too.

READ MORE: AUOB's march and rally during COP26 is about more than just independence

I’ve been a regular at AUOB marches (and have the tour T-shirt), but with possible chaos on the streets – perhaps orchestrated (by the usual suspects) – along with climate protesters gluing themselves or otherwise obstructing access into and across the city, plus Glasgow being a Covid petri dish for a couple of weeks... well, especially as I’ve been “shielding” during the pandemic, and despite vaccinations, I’m honestly having second thoughts about going along to this march.

But with fair weather on the day, and a good turnout, the foreign media will have a spectacle to cover, whether I decide to go or not. I see from some reports on such as RT and Al Jazeera, that their journalists have already been covering some local “colour” stories, and not all positive .

Colin Crombie
Leven, Fife