THE intended benefit of green freeports is to help regenerate the Highland areas that have seen decline, including fewer jobs, resulting in many of the younger generation moving away.

Having to attract green industry by reducing firms’ tax burden seems on the surface to be a reasonable answer. However, while private industry benefits, it means proportionally less tax income to pay for public services like the NHS, education, housing etc, all of which will be required in these areas.

READ MORE: Discussion around green freeports is welcome but delayed

An alternative which is not being considered is that the UK Government, with its financial powers, could create funding to produce these valuable green energy resources without reducing the currency value. A public energy company could bringing in potentially huge funds for public spending while supplying energy at a much reduced rate compared to what is currently being charged by private energy companies.

Instead of reduced taxes, resultant lower-priced green energy would attract companies wanting to improve their green credentials, providing the growth required while paying normal taxes. Resultant increased income to the public purse could improve the NHS, education, housing etc, improving wellbeing in the areas.

If the benefits to Scotland and its people were any kind of priority to the UK Government, why is this not happening?

Actually a proposal exists to construct a link enabling the transport of up to 2GW of energy from Scotland’s renewable energy reserves o the rest of the UK. Enough energy for two million homes. The UK Government is supporting proposed infrastructure including huge pylons, very large substations and battery storage fields, adversely affecting areas in Scotland, while Scotland will contribute to the cost. Meanwhile England will benefit.

A Scottish Government with full fiscal powers of an independent nation would be able to produce resources in ways to benefit the people of Scotland.

Jim Stamper

READING the first installment of the “freeports” series in last Monday’s paper, confusion arose within five column inches of the article.

“The UK Government said the scheme ... will attract up to an estimated £10 billion in investment and 75,000 new, high-skilled jobs.”

Move forward a few paragraphs and lo and behold, the UK department for Levelling Up states that Scotland’s green freeports “aim to create 25,000 jobs [note not “high-skilled”] and generate £4.8bn in investment.”

They’re not out of government yet and can’t even co-ordinate their response.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf defends green freeports after SNP members' concerns

I’d be grateful if a detailed reply was given as to where the 50,000 jobs and the £5.2bn investment has suddenly disappeared to.

Having now read about all the trials and tribulations, the pros and cons, the for and against freeports and I do wish that an open meeting could be held with all the contributors answering questions and defending what they have scribed in the many columns over the last week. I’m sure I won’t be alone in my position wondering who to believe and who not, around NEW jobs, the difficulty in monitoring the port, the benefits to the areas etc etc.

Far more evaluation and discussion has to be given before any binding contract is signed, especially for the population that will be affected by any decision.

Ken McCartney

FURTHER to recent letters on public perceptions of the SNP and the independence movement, I can provide other examples of distorted information and misinformation often cited. I encounter these on my never-ending tour – that is, talking to ordinary people in everyday settings about independence.

Here are examples of responses to the question of independence given locally by Unionists:

1. “I don’t know why that SNP is spending all that money on Gaelic sign posting.” The complainant has a cottage in the Highlands.

2. “That’s the only thing she [meaning Nicola Sturgeon] has done. The smoking ban.” This was actually accomplished by Labour in Scotland in 2005.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry is right: SNP leadership must get a grip and shift focus

3. “I voted against having a Scottish Parliament. I mean, what has it done?” That Christmas I sent them a list of 100 Acts of the Scottish Parliament enclosed with a Christmas card.

4. “My granny was English.” Not sure what the complainant was meaning, I explained that demographically, there were more people dying in Scotland than being born. We depend on migrant labour. The biggest group of migrants to Scotland were English people, numbering around 700,000 in total. They are welcome here, speak the same language and are generally highly skilled.

5. “The vandalism here is terrible. It’s all Nicola Sturgeon’s fault giving them free bus travel.” I think the disconnected thinking here is self-evident.

6. From a Unionist friend, very much a fan of Suella Braverman: “The SNP are Satanic!”

What are the reasons for these views? Lack of unbiased political education, misinformation from the media and to a large extent, cognitive dissonance would be my candidates.

Are these people afraid of the truth?

WJ Graham
East Kilbride

MY husband’s father died years before we were married, but my husband still quoted one of his maxims (he was a clergyman) to our children when they were growing up. If you are tempted to say something about someone, then ask yourself three questions first. 1) Is it true? 2) Is it necessary? 3) Is it kind? If you can’t answer Yes to each of those, then don’t say it!

Mary MacCallum
via email