Price tag of Holyrood’s goodie bag

I am glad Lorne Anton (letters, June 16) is comfortable with the undertaking from the Scottish Government to provide financial support for the putative railway before any of us have any idea of what it will cost.

The undertaking is, of course, in good company – together with free pills, free care for the elderly, free university teaching, free bus passes galore and free petrol for pensioners (I made that last one up, but having been a pensioner for nearly 20 years never lose hope).

Nobody has any idea what the cost of all these goodies will be, but we know where it is hoped that the money will come from.

It is to be sourced by a merciless and disreputable campaign by First Minister Alex Salmond to coerce, via the Westminster Parliament, the tax payers, most of whom are English and do not receive such largesse, to fund the vainglorious political aspirations of a leader whose star will soon burn out, leaving Scotland pauperised and defeated as it was subsequent to the doomed South Sea Bubble venture in Darien, overseen by a previous Scottish Parliament.

I see we are to have new borrowing powers, but no mention is made of how the money will be paid back. What has happened to the fiscal rectitude, the hallmark of Scots, for which they were once famous?

It is time for Scotland to become a responsible member of the Union and to assist in the vital task of escaping from the deep hole in which we all find ourselves, dug in no small measure by the diligence of our friendly Scottish banks.

Robin Cross

Netherby House

Galashiels