IN her article (Five ways to forget child poverty which won’t cost the earth, The National, August 31) Shona Craven outlines some imaginative ways to ameliorate the situation of children living in poverty. It was also refreshing to to see she resisted the temptation to jump on The Give Me Five campaign for increased child benefit, arguing there are other ways to tackle the problem rather than give seven out of 10 pounds to families who don’t need it.

Alison Johnstone takes the opposite view and joins the group of politicians who demand weekly that the Scottish Government spend more without explaining what will have to be cut from a finite and shrinking budget to pay for their demands. It was also deeply concerning to read an elected politician, as part of a defence of her position, describe the state pension as a universal benefit. It is not. The full pension is a relatively small amount, paid to those who have earned it following 30 years of national insurance contributions.
Douglas Turner
Edinburgh

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