I DON’T know a lot about Professor Richard Murphy’s background but it was music to my ears to read his take on Scotland tying its currency to Sterling (SNP must drop disastrous policy on currency after Scottish independence, thenational.scot, Jun 9).

As he says, the only losers still being paid in sterling will be the pensioners. He forgets that our population is weighted by pensioners. They’re a major sector we have to convince to vote for independence. As one of them, albeit with no qualifications in finance, I have always thought tying us into sterling for any period, however short, is a gross mistake. I was glad to hear he thought the EU would consider a Scottish pound more valuable than Sterling.

READ MORE: FACT CHECK: Independent Scotland is destined for a currency 'fiasco'

Can we, ie the SNP, please get our act in order? It shouldn’t be so difficult to put together the facts. I want to see independence come what may, but many like me could be persuaded that their income will be safer in Scottish Government’s hands than Westminster’s – there’s a large segment of the population we could win over. The only statistics I could find from a Scottish Government site said pensioners are currently about 20% of the population and this is expected to raise by 50% by 2033.

Let’s let us have the facts. If staying in the UK means our currency becomes almost worthless, there has to be a great case for spelling out how an independent Scotland can protect pension income.

What are we waiting for?

Catriona Grigg

THE momentum to reverse Brexit is steadily building as the economic suicide the UK is currently committing becomes clearer. Former Tory former minister Tobias Ellwood, to his immense credit, recently suggested the UK should rejoin the EU single market to ease the cost-of-living crisis, claiming recent polling suggests “this is not the Brexit most people imagined”.

Research by the Centre for European Reform (CER), has now highlighted that Brexit is a major contributor to the economy slowing, and that other countries have bounced back from Covid unlike the UK. The Tory defence that the negative economic impact was due to Covid-19 has now been shot to pieces.

The CER notes that Brexit has cost the UK economy billions of pounds in lost trade, lost investment and lost tax revenues. It estimates that the economy was 5.2% – £31 billion – smaller by the end of last year than it would have been had the UK had stayed in the EU.

READ MORE: Brexit impact causes successful Scots firm to end all international trade

This is money the country could really do with at a time of rising national debt and falling living standards.

A smaller economy also means that taxes have to rise to fund the same quality of public services that we had before, which is the backdrop to the Chancellor’s decision to raise the overall tax burden to levels that we haven’t seen since the 1940s.

The catastrophic economic damage that is being caused by Brexit is clear, and there is no shame in the government admitting this and being strong enough to correct it.

Alex Orr

YOU report Professor Matt Qvortrup as having said, in a positive-sounding statement, that

if Malta could make a success of independence – and without oil – why not Scotland (Top academic: If Malta can do it, why not Scotland?, Jun 13).

Imagine my huge disappointment at seeing this statement turned on its head into the negative-sounding headline on the front of The National: “Scotland is NOT too wee or too poor for indy”. This headline acknowledges that some Scots do still think that we are “too wee, too poor”, but why encourage such thinking instead of encouraging readers to believe that Scotland IS big enough and rich enough? It’s high time for us to get on the front foot and stop discouraging support for independence with negative-sounding comments such as this.

Peter Swain

ALASDAIR Macdonald (Letters, Jun 13) asks why I introduced proposed budget cuts to the health and social care capital budget into a transport argument. The answer is very simple.

Capital spending on support for active travel, such as cycle lanes and walking, is more than doubling from £114m this year to £259m in both 2024-25 and 2025-26. Health and social care capital spending is budgeted to fall from £554m this year to £443m next year, remaining at the lower level for three years.

Every penny pinched from the health and social care capital budget to fund bollards, white paint, walking, cycling and scootering is a penny less spent on new or refurbished hospitals, ambulances, X-Ray machines, CT and MRI scanners and the like.

READ MORE: Scotland's cash should not go from health budgets to fund ‘active travel’

As I previously stated, walking and cycling are indeed good for you, but not all of us can mange either in great quantities. Many of us will, for example, need hip replacements before we can think of using the new cycle lanes.

The next time Mr McDonald or one of his friends or family require the services of the Scottish NHS or its social care partners and find them less than ideal, I hope he will remember the budget choices he supported. Politics is all about priorities. CT scanners should come before cycle lanes.

Glenda Burns

THE article by George Kerevan in Monday’s National (Break-up of US may be looming-and indy supporters should pay heed) is vital reading for us all. Any serious disruption in America has international implications, not least for Scotland. History tells us there has yet to be a lethal weapon invented which has not been used. Who in a broken US would control their nuclear arsenal? Trump?

Iain R Thomson