It beggars belief that we have an SNP Government that instead of creating opportunities for our young people, by expanding the provision of college places, is instead cutting £38million-plus from college funding.
It looks as if the Scottish Borders will this year have 300 plus young people denied the chance of a college place and more than likely a job. This is unacceptable.
In the Borders we have an SNP-led Council that has a unique take on employment, by, it would seem creating a two-tier wage system, without it appears proper consultation with the unions.
How can a different wage structure be in place for doing the same job? It is true that it will only apply for new employees, but how would you feel if the man or woman working alongside you were paid more for the same work and hours?
No-one can deny that there has been deep cuts to funding, and money has to be saved, but is it right that once again it is those that are the most vulnerable and lowest paid that have to pay the highest price?
I do not know how many of our councillors have other full or part-time jobs, but if there are any, would it not be fair that they also only received a part-time councillor’s salary?
It cannot be right to deny a young person a good start, it cannot be right to remove equality from working practices, it cannot be right for the many low-paid workers to carry a disproportion of the burden of worldwide recession.
I know there will be those who read this letter that will be far more eloquent than I, and will defend what is happening. To them I say: think carefully about what you are defending, do not defend from a position of comfort, try instead to put yourself in the position of a young school-leaver looking for the first rung of the ladder, or the average family man or woman on the average low wage of the Borders
John Paton Day