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Letters / Shetland has to look after itself

I refer to the many points raised recently in the local media by Ryan Taylor and Daniel Gear which together confirm – Shetland is not in control of its own destiny, a far cry from those of Aland, so eloquently described by Mr Gear.

The difference? Autonomy, which (at the time of writing) wasn’t mentioned in the vacuous blurb presented by any of the parliamentary candidates before then. Neither is finance of which they apparently know little.

However, several very critical but thoughtful articles are available to read on the subject – including – Daily Telegraph (in normal times, customarily a Tory party supporter) by Tim Wallace and the Financial Times by Mary McDougal both on 30 May.

They question the Treasury and BoE modus operandi regarding the financing of bonds gilts QE and QT and the effect of their particular operations on the money supply, interest rates etc. In essence the Government/Treasury/BoE is operating a system to needlessly withdraw money from the UK economy (ostensibly to control inflation – which is tosh) and by so doing denies those funds (so withdrawn) to local authorities (including Scotland and by extended consequence implicit to Shetland).

Result: needless austerity and no progress on tunnels transportation etc.

Although not statutory, the Government/Treasury requires/leans on the commercial banks to keep £billions on deposit at the BoE, so by restricting the money supply to supposedly crack down on inflation and pays interest to those banks for doing so.

This unnecessary interest (£billions per year) – at much higher rate than would be applicable on the commercial market, is in effect found by taking it out of the UK’s economy (a tax on the population!) and a “gift?” to the commercial banks’ balance statements.

In parallel with that the money deposited at the BoE is kept to allegedly reduce the national debt ratio (aka national savings), a shibboleth of the Tory right.

That is a direct contradiction to the operations of the central banks of the USA and ECB, who are returning the QE/QT sums mentioned (including seigniorage) back into their monetary systems at no inflationary consequence whereas the UK taxpayer pays for it immediately, as a consequence of the needlessly imposed financial austerity straight jacket.

Shetland’s entire finances including tunnels and transport systems are therefore compromised and are penalised because of the lack of those funds.

I also refer to a previous letter which questions the chancellor’s deficit/budget ratio not to exceed 100 per cent whereas Japan operates itseconomy at a 265 per cent ratio. So much for his financial acumen.

SIC’s recognition of where money/credit can be found for all its needs – housing, ferries, nhs, infrastructure investment etc should be found in the funds described above, but seeking to source these via the present political economic system could be fraught with uncertainty, where social work degrees may not be the most helpful qualification to appreciate what is needed to understand the economics in which Shetland operates.

For Shetland, expect little improvement from a Labour administration, and none from Holyrood, or others, therefore Shetland has to look after itself. Voters please note; now and through May 2026.

Cecil Robertson


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