THE run on the pound on global stock markets highlights the clear scepticism there is of Chancellor Kwarteng’s mini-Budget, as he pledges borrowing at increasingly expensive rates to give tax cuts to the wealthiest.

The £45 billion tax giveaway, including the abolition of the 45% tax rate and cancellation of the proposed rise in corporation tax, will see almost half of all the gains from personal tax cuts going to the UK’s richest 5%.

Contrast this with the tightening to Universal Credit rules that will see a new regime of benefit sanctions, further bludgeoning the poorest.

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The widely discredited “trickle-down-economic” theory the mini-Budget represents is a massive gamble, and one that will not succeed, pushing borrowing, inflation and interest rates higher. Flying in the face of economic orthodoxy, it is a plan for recession, totally misguided and unsustainable, not creating growth but delivering economic chaos.

There was a time when even right-wing politicians feigned concern about the poorest in society, but the Chancellor could hardly hide his delight as he stuffed the wallets of the richest and gleefully held up his middle finger to the rest of us.

The decreased value of the pound on the back of this mini-Budget has put further pressure on already struggling households, and fuelled by unsustainable public finances it is hard to see anything but dire economic consequences following.

Alex Orr

YOU have to wonder about the discipline of economics and what they must be teaching in our universities. This government claims its goal is the stimulation of economic growth and curbing inflation, which it persistently blames on high wages necessitating the curb on what it terms excessive wage rises fuelled by militant unions.

Adam Smith, whom free-market zealots frequently cite as their inspiration, writing in The Wealth of Nations in 1776, tells us that if you wish to create meaningful and sustainable economic growth, you should raise your workers’ wages and lower their hours of work. The real cause of inflation, he argues, is not wages, but excessive profits, which act like compound interest whilst wage rises operate like simple interest. Excess profits he labels pernicious. Employers, if they listened to what Smith calls the dictates of reason and humanity, would lower the amount of work they require of workers, to moderate rather than animate the application of the worker as Smith puts it. He accuses merchants and master manufacturers of only complaining about the bad effects of high wages in raising prices and lowering sales whilst staying silent about the bad effects of their own excessive profits.

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Smith tells us that raising the standards of living of working people must never be considered an inconvenience. The liberal reward of labour is what he calls the necessary cause and effect of the greatest public prosperity, noting how in his day (proving that in our history, with respect to the conditions of working people, nothing has changed) there were no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it.

It is no wonder that university courses don’t teach Adam Smith and that whatever economic degree courses do teach, it is most certainly not economics.

Peter Kerr

JUST listening to the latest shameless Scot Tory, John Lamont MP, uttering his brash ultimatum on BBC radio that the Scottish Government must “do as we do” and follow the same tax-cutting measures as set out in the Tory mini-Budget – all as per the instructions issued by his paymasters in London, no doubt!

This is their latest cheap political game of “divide and conquer” in a sovereign country called Scotland where their crass divisive political ideology, and favour given to the wealthy and elites of this country, has now become abundantly clear even more so than before. However, that ideology has never been embraced by any Scottish government and even less so by the Scottish people; I doubt it ever will be taken up in a culture and pluralist society that is so different from the extreme political events and behaviour that we are observing on a regular basis in England.

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That is one of the main reasons why we never vote for them! I expected this latest cheap attack regarding Scotland supposedly being a high-tax country without any substance attached to it and no details of all the other benefits that Scottish citizens enjoy under challenging fiscal conditions. No surprise there!

The Scottish Government doesn’t have all the tax-gathering powers that it should have available to it and that is a great pity, especially at this particular time of crisis when the Tory-Brexit charlatans in London certainly appear to be deploying a “scorched earth” policy of grabbing as much as they can to fill the coffers of their wealthy backers and others who wish to have their “noses in the trough” before the shutters finally close on the most disgraceful period of governance that this country has ever known.

I just hope the Scottish Government takes on the fiscal challenges ahead in a wise and pragmatic way with mitigation of the relative impact being high on the priority list. This will not be easy for any government BTW!

Bernie Japs

SO according to Lisa Nandy Scotland has a “terrible” government (SNP and Alba hit back at claims Nicola Sturgeon’s party is “pretending” it’s left wing, Sep 27). So bad we have free tuition, free prescriptions, free buses for under 22 years, baby boxes to welcome newborns, allowances for children, free school meals for most of primary age, best performing waiting times for NHS – I could go on. How terrible do we have to be?

Winifred McCartney