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Daily Political Media Summary: 13 June 2008

Economy

Nuclear power: Gordon Brown has said that nuclear power stations are needed across the world along with a 700% increase in renewable energy to help “lessen our addiction to oil” and provide more secure energy supplies. (Scotsman page 1, Courier page 13).

Fuel tank drivers’ strike: From 6am today until 6am on Tuesday drivers from Hoyer and Suckling Transport, two firms who deliver fuel to Shell forecourts, will be on strike. It is thought one in ten petrol stations will be affected by the industrial action (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 2, Courier page 2, P&J page 1, Guardian page 10, FT page 3, Times page 29).

Inflation: The public expects inflation of 4.3% over the next year, according to the Bank of England’s quarterly survey of inflation attitudes. It also revealed that the Bank has a net satisfaction rating of only 22% (Herald page 30, Telegraph B1).

Retail: Rents on high streets and shopping centres are falling at their fastest rate since the mid-1990s. Shares in top high-street retailers were also significantly down yesterday (FT page 4, Herald page 29).

Taxes: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman (page 24) calls for new thinking on taxes, arguing that to tax up in a property slump can be lethal for the economy.

Crime

Community police officers: An extra 600 dedicated community police officers will be recruited in the west of Scotland over the next 10 years (Herald page 1).


Transport

Forth hovercraft: Fife Council has pledged to invest £1million in a project to create a permanent Fife-Edinburgh hovercraft service (Courier page 9).

Education

Student debt: According to government statistics, student debt in Scotland has reached £2billion. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 9, Courier page 7, Daily Mail page 8).

Chartered teachers: Fiona Hyslop, the Education Secretary, has suggested that head teachers should have a veto on who should become a chartered teacher (Times Education Supplement Scotland page 1)

Too many graduates: Howard McKenzie, acting chief executive of the Association of Scottish Colleges (ASC), has said that there are too many graduates in Scotland and not enough skilled workers such as engineers, plumbers and joiners (Times Education Supplement Scotland).


Health

C.diff deaths: Ministers are being urged to hold an inquiry into the deaths of eight patients who contracted a hospital superbug at the Vale of Leven Hospital (Telegraph page 1, Herald page 4, Times page 11).

Sun beds: MSPs have voted to ban under-16s from using sunbeds (Mirror page 6, Courier page 7).

Local Government

Carbon neutral Stirling: Stirling is aiming to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 2, Courier page 6, P&J page 1, Times page 31).

Trump planning application: The Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Anne Robertson, yesterday told the public inquiry into the application for the Menie Estate that the proposals could help entice global companies to the North East of Scotland. Mr Trump’s counsel also indicated that he will abandon his planned golf course if he is not allowed to build it exactly where he wants it (Scotsman page 13, P&J page 15, Courier page 7, comment by Simon Jenkins in Guardian page 38).

Local Income Tax: Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors, has criticised plans for a local income tax and a separate corporation tax rate as a real problem for businesses. (Scotsman page 29).

Politics

David Davis: The Conservative Shadow Home Secretary made the shock announcement yesterday that he was resigning as an MP to force a by-election which he would fight on the “strangulation of fundamental British freedoms” including the extension of the period which suspects can be held without charge to 42 days. The Lib Dems, BNP and UKIP have said they will not fight the contest as they agree with Mr Davis on this issue and it is still unclear whether Labour will put up a candidate. However, the former editor of the Sun, Kelvin Mackenzie, has suggested he may stand. The Conservative Party has stressed this was a personal decision by Mr Davis. Dominic Grieve is the new Shadow Home Secretary (Scotsman page 6, FT page 1,Telegraph page 1, Express page 9, Courier page 1, Record page 2 Herald page 1, comment by Alf Young in Herald page 15, Julian Glover in Guardian page 39, Rachel Sylvester in Times page 33).

MSPs’ expenses: Yesterday MSPs voted for a £1.4million increase in staff and office allowances. The money will be shared equally between constituency and list MSPs, despite a recommendation from the independent review that constituency MSPs should receive better funding than their list counterparts (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1, Express page 2, Courier page 1, P&J page 9).

Voting at 16: Bruce Crawford, Minister for Parliament, has called for the Scottish Parliament to have the power to lower the voting age to 16 (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 7, Record page 16).