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Daily Political Media Summary: 1 July 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

We were unable to access the Herald’s website this morning and apologise for the lack of links to those stories.

Economy

Energy institute: Former Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen was gagged by civil servants when he tried to secure a £1b energy institute for Aberdeen. He was told that a joint bid between universities for an Energy Technologies Institute headquarters would be stronger than a single bid by Aberdeen University. (P&J page 7)

Pringle job losses: Pringle, the luxury knitwear firm, is to close its Borders manufacturing plant, which has been in operation for almost 200 years, with the loss of 80 jobs. (Scotsman page 6, Sun page 22, Herald page 1, Daily Mirror page 16, Daily Mail page 5, Daily Express page 3, FT page 2)

Debit cards for 11 year olds: Children as young as 11 are being given debit cards by Lloyds TSB which allows them to buy products over the internet, such as alcohol and cigarettes. (Scotsman page 21)

Credit unions: The UK government announced yesterday that the red tape that restricts the expansion of credit unions could be removed. (Herald page 2)

Stamp duty: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said that the UK Government needs to radically overhaul stamp duty to make it fairer. (Herald page 5, Daily Mail page 25, P&J page 13)

Mortgage approvals: The number of fresh mortgage approvals in the UK fell to a record low in May according to the Bank of England. (Herald page 33, Daily Mail page 2, Courier page 2)

Bank of England: Philip Stephens in the FT (page 15) comments on the structure of the Bank of England.

Savings: Savings rates for the first quarter of 2008 fell to 1.1% of incomes, the lowest figure since 1959 according to the ONS. (FT page 3)

Tax on alcohol: The tax on alcohol will rise by 31% over the course of the next five years pushing the price of a pint to around £3.19 and a bottle of wine to £4.71. (Daily Mirror page 6)

Housing Prices: First time buyers have almost “vanished” from the housing market as the credit crunch continues to bite. The number of mortgages approved by the Bank of England fell to all time low last month. (Daily Telegraph page 1)

Crime

Tayside police: Tayside police have reduced crime rates by targeting antisocial behaviour. The force has seen as 8% fall in crime over the past year. (P&J page 1)

Prisons commission: The Prisons Commission, headed by former First Minister Henry McLeish is due to report today and is expected to call for a cut in the number of jail sentences handed down by the courts. (Daily Record page 2, The Times page 21)

ID Demonstration: A boy of four was included in those detained by police yesterday during a demonstration against ID cards. Nine protestors, including four year old Tiger Maitland, were detained in Edinburgh. (Daily Mirror page 18, Daily Mail page 27)

Slopping out: There was a setback for prisoners seeking compensation for having to ‘slop out’ in jail, as a sheriff threw out a witness on the basis he was not an expert. Ten prisoners from Edinburgh’s Saughton prison are seeking compensation. (Daily Mail page 23)

Transport

Rise in Rail Fares: Commuters could see the price of rail fares rise by between 6 and 8% next year due to rising inflation. This could amount to £100 being added to the price of some season tickets. (Daily Telegraph page 8)

Child deaths on roads: The number of children dying on Scottish roads fell to its lowest recorded level last year at 9. The figure was 25 in 2006. (Scotsman page 19)

Education

EIS accepts Church veto: The EIS has accepted a legal ruling that all teachers who apply for a job in denominational schools have to get approval from the Catholic Church. (Herald page 10)

Science centres: Scotland’s four science centres are to share an additional £250,000 this year. (Courier page 3, P&J page 1)

Health

Emergency admissions at Vale of Leven: An independent review in the Dunbartonshire hospital will explore whether a safe anaesthetics service could continue to cover unplanned procedures at the Vale of Leven hospital. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 9)

Local Government

Single outcome agreements: Yesterday Finance Secretary John Swinney visited Stirling to sign the first of the 32 single outcome agreements which have been agreed with local authorities for setting out how councils deliver local services. (Courier page 6, P&J page 8)

Politics

Des Browne: The Scottish Secretary has come under fire for claiming that Scots “have never had it so good” after a decade of Labour at Westminster, despite soaring food, fuel and energy prices. Jim Murphy is being lined up as a possible replacement to Des Browne in a future cabinet reshuffle. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6)

Scottish MP voting rights: The Conservatives at Westminster are launching their Democracy Taskforce report today. The report is expected to recommend that only MPs for English or English and Welsh constituencies will be involved at the committee stage of draft legislation which only affects those areas. (Scotsman page 9, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express page 2)

Liberal Democrats: In the Guardian, Nick Clegg makes it clear that those who want a more socially progressive and fairer Britain should look to the Lib Dems rather than the Tories or Labour.

Scottish Labour leader: Speculation and analysis about the likely candidates to replace Wendy Alexander. Andy Kerr, Iain Gray, Margaret Curran and Cathy Jamieson are emerging as the front runners. (Scotsman page 9, Sun page 2, Herald page 1 and 6, Douglas Fraser in the Herald, Daily Mirror page 12, The Times page 11, Daily Express page 4, Courier page 1, P&J page 9)

Glasgow by-election: Further analysis on the impending by-election in Glasgow East. (Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2, Herald page 6, P&J page 9)

Civil service strike: Thousands of civil servants yesterday were balloted on a proposed two day strike over pay. (Sun page 2, Courier page 6)

Gordon Brown: Patrick O’Flynn in the Daily Express writes that the reason Gordon Brown is so unpopular at present is simply because he has made Brits poorer over the course of the last twelve months.