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Daily political media summary: 26th June 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Data handling: A root and branch shake up of the way sensitive data is held across Whitehall is to be carried out according to the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell. The comments came after the Chancellor admitted to “serious institutional deficiencies” in the way sensitive data was handled. (FT page 2)

SNP’s £25m scheme to help Scots homeowners: Struggling homeowners hit by the credit crunch will be helped by the Scottish government , it was revealed last night. (Express page 11, Mail page 30)

First-time house buyers: The SNP yesterday admitted that it had dropped its manifesto pledge to give £2,000 to help first-time buyers get onto the property market. (Scotsman page 1 ,Times page 8, Sun page 2, Courier page 1, Daily Record page 12, Herald page 8)

Scotland shaking off the credit crunch: A leading bank said yesterday that the economy north of the border was continuing to grow despite the slowing effects of the credit crunch. ( Press and Journal page 20)

Equalities Bill: Employers will be forced to allow staff to discuss what they are paid under a new equality bill at Westminster which will outlaw “gagging clauses” in the hope of addressing the gender pay gap. The Bill will also allow companies to discriminate in favour of female and ethnic minority candidates. (Mirror page 2, Guardian  page 16, FT page 2)

Crime

Police pensions: John Vine, Chief Constable of Tayside, has said that the pensions funding gap is one of the biggest challenges facing the police and staff numbers will be affected unless pensions are taken into central control. (Herald page 1)

Transport

Trains and trams: Consideration is being given to incorporating Edinburgh’s new tram with local rail networks. (Scotsman page 19)

Education

Father sues over lack of tuition: A father is suing South Lanarkshire Council claiming that a lack of English teachers at his daughter’s school, St Andrews & St Brides High School, meant that he had to spent several hundred pounds on tutors so she was properly prepared for her English standard grade exams. (Herald page 5)

SNP’s pledge on class size questioned: Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop was yesterday accused of ducking questions over whether enough resources had been provided to meet a key pledge to cut class sizes to 18 in primaries one to three. (Courier page 9)

Health

Morning after pill: Chemists across Scotland are to provide the morning after pill for free under a Scottish Government scheme. (Scotsman page 9)

GP surgery hours: The Scottish Government yesterday announced an extra £2.65m to encourage more GP surgeries to open in the evening and at weekends. (Scotsman page 8, Courier page 11)

Local Government

Council tax increase and collection: £112million in council tax went uncollected last year. Council tax bills in Scotland now total nearly £2billion after soaring by three quarters over the last decade. (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page 8, Courier page 6, Press and Journal page 9 , Daily Record page 2, Herald page 8, Mail page 10)

Politics

Wendy Alexander: The Scottish Labour Leader was yesterday found guilty of breaching parliamentary rules over failing to declare donations to her leadership campaign. The Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee found her guilty by five votes to two. A decision will be taken later today on her punishment. (Scotsman page 3, Times page 5, Telegraph page 14, Sun page 8, Express page 8, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Mirror page 2, Daily Record page 2, Herald page 1, Mail page 1)

Gordon Brown: Furth comment and analysis on the Prime Minister’s first year in office. (Guardian page 10, Herald page 13, Express page 10)

Salmond rows with London over “appeal court”: Gordon Brown’s devolution trouble-shooter last night rejected Alex Salmond’s claim that an “appeal court” is being set up to settle rows between Westminster and Holyrood. (Telegraph page 1)

Joint Ministerial Committee: At the first joint ministerial committee held for 6 years yesterday, the First Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland called for a share of the Olympic regeneration funds. (Scotsman page 8, Express page 4, Herald page 6, Mail page 2)

Plea to close loophole that could cost Scots millions: The Scottish government urged Westminster to move quickly yesterday to block a human rights legal loophole that could cost taxpayers millions. (Times page 5, Sun page 2,Express page 4)

Ed Balls & Yvette Cooper: The married members of Gordon Brown’s cabinet are being investigated for possible breaches of parliamentary expenses by redesignating their Yorkshire home as their main home so they could claim mortgage repayments on their London home. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 6, Herald page 1)