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Invest in our islands rather than paying people to move
I’m rather surprised that the Scottish Government is moving ahead with plans to pay young people and families £50,000 to move to some of our remotest islands, with interest expressed from applicants as far away as Ecuador.
The first ‘golden welcomes’ will be offered by the government within weeks, in an attempt to tackle depopulation of the Scottish islands, where populations range from one person to around 20,000.
Having looked at just how much money this plan would cost the hard-pressed taxpayer, wouldn’t that money be better spent improving local services and infrastructure on the islands?
We want young people with families who have some connection with our islands, not people just tempted by the cash on offer.
Lack of housing is a huge problem and our islands are very often attracting early retirees and second home owners.
Poor transport connections, including constant ferry disruptions, slow or non-existent broadband and unaffordable housing, are just some of the factors holding back the economic prosperity of so many of our islands.
These should be addressed before we throw good money after bad by attempting to pay people to move to our island communities.
Alastair Redman, Port Charlotte, Islay.
RAF Benevolent fund – thanks for royal support
As we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service, I would like to thank Her Majesty for her continuous support of the RAF Benevolent Fund, being the charity’s patron since 1952.
One memorable event for the fund was in June 2012 when Her Majesty attended the unveiling of the fund’s Bomber Command memorial in Green Park, London, the 10-year anniversary of which is on June 26.
The memorial pays tribute to the 55,573 airmen who lost their lives serving in Bomber Command during the Second World War and the unveiling was attended by thousands of veterans and relatives.
Her Majesty The Queen has always been a tireless supporter of the fund’s work, providing welfare services for the whole RAF Family – from serving personnel and veterans to their partners and children.
It is a privilege to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with cherished memories of Her Majesty’s commitment not only to the RAF but to all the armed forces.
Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, chief executive, RAF Benevolent Fund.
Throw a Blooming Great Tea Party this summer
End-of-life charity Marie Curie is calling on people across Scotland to throw a Blooming Great Tea Party in June and July to help fund vital care and support for those living with a terminal illness, and their families.
Marie Curie is dependent on public donations so it can continue caring for people in their own homes and at its two Scottish hospices.
Donations also support its information and support services, including a telephone line which provides a listening ear to anyone dealing with any aspect of death, dying and bereavement.
Hosting a Blooming Great Tea Party is easy. Whether you want to bake up a storm at home or pop to the shops for some tasty treats, you’ll be helping to support people in your local area living with a terminal illness.
Just don’t forget to price your slice!
To find out more about Marie Curie’s Blooming Great Tea Party, including top tips for planning your party, recipes and downloadable materials, visit mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty.
Ashley Thomson, head of fundraising Scotland, Marie Curie.