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Daily Political Media Summary: 6 May 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

New 10p tax revolt: Former Welfare Minister, Frank Field, is threatening to lead another revolt over the 10p tax rate when the issue returns to the Commons in June. A number of Labour MPs are concerned about the impact the issue will have in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. (Herald page 6, Times page 11, FT page 2)

WPP: WPP, the world’s second largest advertising company, has said it will join the exodus of companies leaving the UK if proposals to tax overseas profits go ahead. (Scotsman page 8, Telegraph page 4, FT page 1 and page 15)

Scottish Consumers: A study by the Scottish Consumer Council found Scots were less able and less likely to switch energy suppliers or banks to get a better deal and has called for more to be done by regulators to address the problem. (Scotsman page 15)

Business failures: David Hunter, the head of business recovery and insolvency at Campbell Dallas has predicted a 20% increase in corporate insolvencies this year. (Herald page 1)

Manufacturing: Figures due to be released by the CBI today are expected to show that manufacturers in Scotland are performing better than their peers south of the border. (Herald page 30, P&J page 17)

Oil prices: According to Ernst & Young’s Item Club, high oil prices could “snuff out” any recovery in the UK economy during the next two years. (Herald page 30, Guardian page 23, Telegraph page B1)

Plastic bags: Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has said that if a voluntary agreement reached with retailers over cutting the use of plastic bags did not work, the Scottish Government would look at introducing legislation. (Herald page 6, P&J page 11, Courier page 10, Daily Mail page 6, Daily Record page 17, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 14)

Couples income: According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation couples with children have to work three times as hard as single mothers to stay above the poverty line. (Daily Mail page 17)

Scots staying at home: The increase in property prices has led to more Scots staying at home. One in ten households in Scotland now has a non-dependent adult living at home with their parents. (Daily Mail page 8)

Crime

Lawyers’ industrial action: Sheriff Courts in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Falkirk, Dumbarton and Kilmarnock will be affected by work to rule action today resulting in lawyers refusing to represent people arrested and detained by the police. The action follows a dispute over legal aid payments. (Heraldpage 4, Scotsman page 7)

Gipsies: According to Scottish Police College documents, police are being taught about the benefits of allowing gipsies to run their own communities free from police interference and a national ‘Gipsy President’ could sit in the Scottish Parliament. (Daily Mail page 26)

Suburban crime: The Daily Record (page 9) reports on a 300% increase in crime in Scotland’s wealthiest areas.

Transport

Scottish airports: Manchester Airports Group has expressed interest in buying one of Scotland’s busiest airports if the Competition Commission finds BAA to be anticompetitive and forces it to sell one of its airports. (Herald page 7)

Education

Ballot for primary school: A ballot system is to be used for the first time in Scotland to allocate places to Mearns Primary School. Families who live in the school’s catchment area will still be guaranteed a place, but East Renfrewshire Council is considering a ballot for children who live outside the catchment area. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 1, Andrew Denholm in the Herald)

Health

Alcohol abuse: According to the health analytical services division of the Scottish Government alcohol abuse is costing Scotland £2.25billion every year – double the previous estimate. Deaths from cirrhosis of the liver, caused by alcohol abuse, have soared in Scotland over the past 30 years, while they have fallen across Europe. (Scotsman page 1)

Stem cell research: Scottish scientists are looking at ways in which liver disease could be treated using embryonic stem cells therefore reducing the need for transplants. (Daily Record page 25, Herald page 4, Daily Express page 11, Courier page 14)

Asthma: Statistics from Asthma UK Scotland show that more than 7,000 people were taken to hospital following an asthma attack last year, but sufferers in Lanarkshire are almost 60% more likely to be hospitalised than those in Dumfries & Galloway. (Daily Record page 25, P&J page 12, Daily Mail page 22, Courier page 14, Telegraph page 8)

Family GPs: The Daily Record (page 20 and 21) spent a day with a family doctor in Glasgow and reports on the piles of paperwork and long lines of patients.

Local Government

Local income tax: According to a TNS System Three opinion poll, 46% of Scots support a local income tax, but 22% are against and 32% have not yet made up their mind. (Herald page 1)

Politics

Independence poll: Wendy Alexander has called for a referendum on independence to take place within 12 months with the public being offered a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. (Scotsman page 2, Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Douglas Fraser in the Herald, Daily Record page 2, P&J page 11, Times page 2, Angus Macleod in the Times, Courier page 10, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Mail page 2, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 2, FT page 2)

Fall out from local elections: There is further comment and analysis on the repercussions of last week’s local elections. (David Aaranovitch in the Times, P&J page 10, Daily Mirror page 6, Courier page 2, Guardian page 4, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Telegraph page 4, Anthony Browne in the Telegraph, FT page 2, Philip Stephens in the FT)

Abortion: An all party group of MPs begins a campaign today to reduce the time limit for abortions from 24 to 20 weeks. (Daily Mail page 10 )

Immigration rules: The Scottish Highland Games Association has expressed fears that changes to immigration rules and the introduction of a points based system, could discourage visiting stars from Canada, New Zealand and Australia from attending. (P&J page 1