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Daily Political Media Summary 1 May 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Whisky exports: Figures published yesterday by the Scottish Whisky Association show that overseas exports of whisky reached a record high in 2007 earning the UK £90 a second. (Scotsman page 17, P&J page 1, Courier page 3, Telegraph page 11, Sun page 6, Times page 25, Daily Mail page 28)

Oil prices: Further coverage on increasing oil and petrol prices. (George Kerevan in the Scotsman, P&J page 15, Courier page 10, Telegraph page 4, Daily Record page 8, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Daily Mail page 2)

Grangemouth dispute: The two sides involved in the recent strike action at the Grangemouth oil refinery are to give evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and Westminster to ensure all the commitments on working conditions made by Ineos when they bought the plant have been met. (Herald page 12)

Interest rates: The Scotsman (page 39) has an interview with David Blanchflower, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, discussing his concerns for the British economy and the need for an aggressive cut in interest rates.

Immigrant workers: According to figures published by the IPPR yesterday, 60,000 immigrant workers from Eastern Europe registered to work in Scotland in the past four years. (Herald page 5, P&J page 15, Courier page 3, Times page 32, Daily mail page 10, Daily Express page 28)

10p tax: The Prime Minister was yesterday accused of trying to hold back details of the aid package for those losing out from the scrapping of the 10p tax rate. (P&J page 5)

Credit crunch hits Treasury: Calculations published in the Times (page 44) suggest that the credit crunch is expected to reduce tax revenues, sending the Treasury £16billion in to the red.

Cost of living: The Daily Express (page 5) reports a £430 increase in the cost of living for a family over the past year.

Crime

Arrest quotas: In a report published today HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland has called for rank-and-file police to be measured against a number of performance targets, including number of arrests. However the proposal has raised fear that it will lead to police pursuing “softer” targets, such as motorists, to boost figures. (Scotsman page 8 )

Witness protection: Following the murder of a 42 year old women who was due to give evidence against two men in court, MSPs yesterday called for protection for vulnerable witnesses. (Daily Record page 4)

Transport

Belfast ferry link: A new ferry terminal in Belfast, which will cut travel times between Northern Ireland and Scotland, is due to open this week. (Herald page 11)

Education

Catholic schools: Cardinal O’Brien is due to give a speech to the Catholic Headteachers’ Association of Scotland today where he is expected to outline his disappointment at the lack of positive media coverage given to Catholic schools. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 8)

Health

Child drunks as young as eight: Dr Bill Morrison yesterday published his report on behalf of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland into the effects of Scotland’s alcohol culture. In the six-week study almost 650 youngsters, some as young as eight, were admitted to A&E due to the effects of consuming high amounts of alcohol. (Herald page 1, P&J page 1, Scotsman page 1, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 7, Sun page 13, Daily Record page 1, Mirror page 14, Daily Express page 7, Daily Mail page 19)

Local Government

Black hole in LIT: HMRC yesterday revised its estimated growth in wages from 5% to 2.94%. The Conservatives said that this would mean that the Scottish Government would need to find £100m of additional money, on top of the existing funding gap, if it was to introduce a local income tax. However figures show that more than half of Scots want to replace the Council Tax with a Local Income Tax. (Scotsman page 2, P&J page 15, Courier page 6, Telegraph page 6, Sun page 2, Times page 8, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 6)

Donald Trump: Donald Trump has confirmed that he will personally appear at and give evidence to the public inquiry into his planning application for the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire. The inquiry begins on 10th June. (P&J page 1, Herald page 3, Courier page 6, Sun page 15, Daily Record page 9, Daily Mail page 28,Telegraph page 4, Mirror page 15, Daily Express page 2)

Landlords: The number of people being approved by the Scottish Government as suitable to be a landlord under the registration scheme introduced two years ago has increased from 15% to 75% of applicants in the past year. (P&J page 9)

Supermarket power: The Competition Commission has proposed that competition considerations be taken into account when deciding planning applications for new supermarkets. The proposal is designed to help “Tesco towns” like Perth and Inverness where one chain is dominant. The Commission also called for an independent ombudsman to police a tighter code of practice. (P&J page 13, FT page 2, Daily Mail page 1)

Tax exiles: A survey by the Financial Times (page 3) revealed a high level of dissatisfaction among the UK’s biggest companies with the UK tax regime. A number of companies are considering moving their corporate headquarters away from the UK as a result.

Politics

Local elections in England & Wales: Coverage in most of the papers commenting on the likely outcome of the local elections held today in England and Wales, as well as the Mayoral contest in London, and the implications of the results for Gordon Brown and David Cameron. (Gordon Brown in the Mirror, Scotsman page 13, Herald page 1, Courier page 9, Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 2, FT page 4, Times page 1, Mary Ann Sieghart in the Times, Daily Mail page 12)

Independence poll: Further coverage of yesterday’s YouGov poll showing a drop in support for independence in Scotland. (Herald page 6, Douglas Fraser in the Herald, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Sun page 2, Times page 8, Daily Express page 2)

Frank Field MP: John MacLeod in the Mail (page 17) comments on Labour MP Frank Field, the architect of the 10p tax rebellion, outlining his history as a Labour rebel.