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Letters: Tories can no longer claim to be safe custodians at the Treasury

SAJID Javid, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month, was warned by Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary for President Trump, over the UK’s digital tax plans for US internet giants that “the President and Boris will be speaking on it’”. Could this be the real reason the previous Chancellor was sacrificed (“‘No self-respecting minister could accept this power grab’”, The Herald, February 14)?

But if these tax plans are dropped will it not cause a huge hole in the projected tax incomes, incomes that are desperately needed to see us through the three years or so before any potential benefits from trade deals begin to trickle through? The ticking debt time bomb that is Brexit in 2021 is edging ever closer, the current cost-effective movement of our goods, services and people will stop and the £200 billion opportunity cost of Brexit will have to be accounted for.

Money will be tight, and there is a triple lock on increases in income tax, National Insurance Contribution and VAT, so how will Boris Johnson meet his promised election commitments, including to the National Health Service and the police?

The Tories proved their fiscal incompetence with their failed promises to reduce the debt through austerity, measures which continue to cause incredible hardships to the poorest, along with devastation of our public services. Unless Mr Johnson defers his election promises to some distant horizon, a magic money tree will have to be conjured. It is time the Tory facade of being safe custodians at the Treasury was exposed, their incompetence at fiscal management fully revealed to the electorate.

Paul Shaw, Dunblane.

ON hearing that Sajid Javid had resigned, Kate Forbes on Twitter offered her assistance to prepare a Budget. The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, read economics at Oxford, worked for Goldman Sachs and then founded an investment firm. Kate Forbes read history at Cambridge and then gained an MSC in Diaspora and Migration History. I know which one I would want to be in charge of a budget and it is not Ms Forbes, who seems to have let the success of reading out Derek Mackay’s budget out in Holyrood go to her head.

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

ACCORDING to the Office of National Statistics, the UK National Debt at the end of 2018 stood at £1837,5 billion or 86.8 per cent of GDP.

Average household debt reached a peak of £15,385 (TUC figures).

However, the good news is that the recently elected Government has the answer. During the long cold years of austerity, the government has been combating the growing problem of dealing with CO2 emissions by planting forests of money trees which are now yielding such magnificent crops that we can now afford to repay billions to the EU, fund the HS2 rail link which seemed to casual observers to be a problem and contemplate building a bridge or tunnel to Ireland. Has anyone mentioned the possible repairs to the Westminster Parliament buildings? And even don’t speak about Trident.

No doubt local councils up and down the land will be queuing up for cuttings from those bountiful trees, as despite reducing much needed services and delving into well scraped barrels, they are running out of options to meet the needs of their communities.

When questioned about how the Government would be able to meet increasing demands within the NHS and elsewhere, the PM replied that there was “fiscal headroom”. We have to assume that this is political speak for “borrowing”.

Keep tending those trees as if, they fail, we might see the state pension age rising to 80.

Walter Mitty is alive and well and lives in London.

Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.

WHO is running the country? Well, it is certainly not the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, but could it be someone from across the pond as yesterday’s evidence of the Cabinet re-shuffle revealed? Disagree with or question the PM, “you’re fired” will certainly follow. Could our once-great democracy be under threat, with the great unelected deciding? It certainly looks like that.

Never mind a bridge too far, is this a step too far?

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

AS former ministers reshuffle off the scene there is a strong whiff of deja vu emanating from Downing Street, where we have a blond Prime Minister who seems hell bent on ridding the Cabinet of all who are not perceived as being acquiescent team players; all that’s missing is the handbag.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

“DOM subs sub Doms’ might have been how Boris Johnson would have headlined the Machiavellian plot to install a more subservient Chancer of the Exchequer.

It sounds enough like Latin to fool the common herd.

Duncan Graham, Stirling.

READING the reports in The Herald today about all the skulduggery going on in Westminster, should the old song be rewritten, such a parcel ‘o rogues in Westminster?

John Aitken, Falkirk.

IT would appear that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan is starting to show signs of firm progress already, just a couple of weeks since the UK formally left the EU. The European Parliament has given solid support to Spain’s right to veto any Brexit agreement regarding Gibraltar and to support the decolonisation of Gibraltar.

So if Mr Johnson’s plan was intended to break up what remains of the British Empire then if seems to have made a good start.

Developments in Ireland and in Scotland are also moving towards a united Ireland and an independent Scotland so with any luck Mr Johnson will achieve a situation that by the time he has to face the electorate again it will English voters only, where he stands a much better chance of re-election. Of course, England will then be a much smaller country and GDP per head will be significantly reduced, but if his luck holds Mr Johnson and his hedge fund backers will still be doing OK for themselves.

Andy Anderson, Saltcoats.

Javid paid the price on a day of brutal Cummings and goings

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