OF course nobody likes paying taxes, but calls for cuts, in particular to corporation tax, are misguided. When politicians embark on their cutting crusades, what they are not doing is acknowledging what taxes exist for. They forget or ignore that taxes are to pay for public services. More likely they don’t forget but are embarking on a deliberate misdirection with the intent of fooling the public.

So when they call for cuts in taxes what they are not acknowledging is that it directly means cutting or stagnating public services. When pressed on how they intend to improve those services, at the same time as directly criticising those who carry out the work, they expect that these “lazy” workers and so-called shirkers must do more for less, allowing the wealthy to accumulate more. The reverse of the Robin Hood fable.

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Company tax cuts do not generate benefit for society nor even the company. They lead directly to higher bonuses and executive pay for the select few, in other words money taken out of the company, and often the country. At the same time the concept of “trickle down” was invented by “she who will not be named”. As a concept it is not unreasonable, but the hidden message behind it is that those who benefit from the tax cuts are supposed to spend that money so it does in fact trickle down through the economy. What actually happens is that the benefit instead flows into offshore bank accounts, and does absolutely nothing for society.

While this may seem a series of cynical observations, they are based on watching what actually happens and remembering all the fine propaganda justifications from previous decades. Those advocating tax cuts are either ill-educated and incapable of thinking beyond their rosy-tinted spectacles or being deliberately disingenuous in favour of their donors and hoping that nobody else cottons on to what is happening.

The sad thing about this is that the majority of the supporters of these policies gain next to nothing and lose like the rest of us. And while public borrowing is so high, ie money invented and handed out to party friends, it is far too early to even think about cutting taxes, in fact the opposite, where those who have benefited financially over the last decade should be properly taxed on their windfalls.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

IN any study of mass human behaviour there are two things of note: an idea only becomes mainstream once it garners more than 40% support of the population, and the majority of folk will prefer the status quo to change.

It is not about converting “soft no’s” through some quasi-religious zeal, it is about overcoming the inertia which hinders all new human endeavours and change. In Scotland we could term it the “aye been” state of affairs, which has long been the reason politicians get away with terrible decision-making and get re-elected, Labour’s decades-long hold on Scotland being a classic example.

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This is publicly expressed as “Politicians! Thir aa the same, nebbit clypes and skytes, widnae trust ony o’ them wi a sweetie tray bit whit can ye dae? It’s aye been.”

Until the inherent distrust of politicians of any hue is addressed, those who prefer the status quo to change will not be shifting any time soon.

Peter Thomson

GLENDA Burns (Letters 3 October) is correct to assess that North Lanarkshire Council is not the only local authority that will likely have to contemplate “unpleasant announcements” in the coming months.

That said, one has to ask whether her apparent attempt to make excuses for the Labour council leader Jim Logue, while criticising the words of an SNP Scottish Government minister, Neil Gray, advances our supposedly common cause of achieving independence.

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Certainly it is important to be honest with the Scottish public, but does that not extend to adding the context (that the biased UK mainstream media invariably fails to provide) of more than a decade of UK Government austerity, grossly negligent (if not corrupt) spending of hundreds of billions of pounds and a disastrous Liz Truss mini-budget, which together have led to significant real-term cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget.

The SNP have been heavily criticised for not, in spite of the claims of opposition parties, putting independence first, but perhaps some who support self-determination also need to increase their focus on our primary objective of achieving Scotland’s independence.

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

A VERY short letter to highlight how bad this glorious ex-imperial country is at infrastructure creation, using HS2 as an example.

HS2 is a fast-speed rail line running for 93 miles to Birmingham from Euston in London. It is years late, and nowhere near finished. Costs to get to Birmingham are estimated now to be more than £100 billion. The budget was £57bn in 2015.

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This week I noted two articles related to trains. The first was an LBC news article stating that France builds high-speed lines on time and ten times cheaper per kilometre than the UK. The second article from Reuters was about Indonesia’s first high-speed train line which runs in phase one for 137km (85 miles) for the cost of US$6.7bn. It was three years late due to Covid and two land disputes, but look at the cost.

What an embarrassment this Global Britain is. We can’t build railways yet we invented them, can’t build nuclear reactors but we built the first commercial ones, can’t build aircraft carriers that work but we built the first ones. The list goes on. The glorious empire trumpeted by London died a long time ago.

Robert Anderson