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Daily Political Media Summary: 4 July 2008

Economy

New carriers: The Government has placed an order for the two biggest aircraft carriers ever built in Britain, securing 5000 jobs in Scotland and around 10,000 across the UK. The £3.2bn cost has been criticised by some analysts who think the money could be better spent on the rest of the defence budget. (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 1, P&J page 15, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 17)

Service sector: In June the services sector shrank at its fastest rate since 2001, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. (Herald page 29, Scotsman page 29)

Treasury: The National Audit Office has threatened to qualify the Treasury’s accounts because it is unhappy about the way the nationalisation of Northern Rock has been accounted for. Senior Treasury officials reportedly also said that the Department was suffering a collapse of morale (Times page 1). Peter Riddell analyses the changes to the Treasury under Gordon Brown (Times page 8). Bill Jamieson suggests what the Chancellor should do to avoid an economic crisis. (Scotsman page 24)

Fuel duty: The Prime Minister hinted to the House of Commons Liaison Committee yesterday that he may abandon the 2p-a-litre increase in fuel duty planned for 1 October. (Scotsman page 6, P&J page 12, Courier page 6, Telegraph page 10)

Tourism: The UK Tourism survey revealed that the amount raised from international tourism in Scotland fell by 7% in 2007. However, there was a 4% increase in revenue from domestic tourism (P&J page 15)

Glasgow Science Centre: Glasgow Science Centre will cut 28 jobs because of a 40% reduction in its grant from the Scottish Government. Mohammed Sarwar, the Glasgow Central MP, said the SNP were “letting Glasgow down and letting science down”. The issue is likely to feature in the Glasgow East by-election campaign (Herald page 11, Courier page 10, Scotsman page 18)

Education

Strathclyde University: Strathclyde University will cut jobs in an attempt to save £6m, but has ruled out compulsory redundancies. The Principal said that staff costs had to fall by 5% by 2010 in order to maintain the university’s financial position. (Herald page 1)

Health

Missing information: The loss of a USB key containing medical details of up to 137 patients in NHS Lothian has raised wider concerns about data protection procedures in the NHS. (Herald page 1, Mail page 5)

Politics

MPs’ expenses:
After a heated debate MPs rejected proposals to radically reform their expenses and will still be able to claim for furnishing and home improvements on the so-called ‘John Lewis list’. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 6, P&J page 5, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 6, Times page 5)

Liberal Democrat leadership: Mike Rumbles, MSP for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, has declared he will stand in the Scottish Lib Dem leadership election. Jeremy Purvis, the education spokesman, also said he was considering running. Tavish Scott, the party’s finance spokesman is thought to be the favourite. (Herald page, Scotsman page 7, P&J page 10, Courier page 9, Telegraph page 11, Times page 20)

Glasgow East: The SNP and the Lib Dems have selected their candidates for the by-election in Glasgow East. John Mason, leader of the SNP council group in Glasgow, will represent the SNP and Ian Robertson, a teacher, will stand for the Lib Dems. (Scotsman page 7, Times page 21) Michael Kettle comments on the importance of the by-election (Guardian page 37). Gerry Hassan comments that the Labour party in Scotland needs to reflect on what it stands for (Scotsman page 28).