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Daily Political Summary:10th July 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. 

Economy

Road tax: Some of the nine million car owners who will be worse off under controversial changes to the vehicle tax system may be eligible for cash to persuade them to get rid of their high-polluting vehicles. (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 9, Daily Record page 6, Daily Mail page 1, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mirror page 6, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 11, P&J page 15)

Food prices rise by double inflation: Food prices in Scottish shops have risen by 7% in the past 12 months, more than twice the rate of headline inflation and the largest rise in recent years. (Herald page 1)

Power line decision next year: The Scottish government expects to make a decision on the Beauly to Denny power line application next year. (Courier page 9, P&J page 11)

Bank ‘has no room for manoeuvre on interest rates: The Bank of England should spurn calls for action today to shore up the faltering economy and keep interest rates on hold according to the Times Monetary Policy Committee. (Times page 44)

Fixed-rate mortgage costs at highest level in more than eight years: The cost of a fixed rate mortgage has soared to an eight and a half year high as lenders continue to raise their rates in the face of higher funding costs. (Herald page 3) Further comment on the credit crunch in the Scotsman’s editorial (page 25)

Outsourcing covers third of services: A study shows that the UK spends a larger share of its gross domestic product than the US on outsourced services. (Financial Times page 3)

Housing slump- further unemployment for Scotland: Scotland faces another 9,000 job losses this year as the house building slump sends shockwaves through the economy (Scotsman page 6). David Watt comments in the Scotsman (page 31) that adding further costs through wage rises is the wrong way to protect jobs and expand our economy.

Poor hit the hardest by inflation: Research from PwC, the accountants yesterday suggested rising food fuel and energy prices hit the poor the hardest.(Financial Times page 3)

Transport

Bumpy roads: A Street in Paisley has been named the second-bumpiest road in Britain. (Daily Record page 33, Daily Express page 8, Daily Mail page 39)

Education

Scottish Universities’ income from pin-outs and external contracts hit a record: Scotland’s universities attracted a record amount of business and external income last year, surging through the £300 million mark. (Scotsman page 29)

Health

Clinical research centre: A new £13m clinical research centre in Dundee is to receive funding for a PET-CT scanner which will give it facilities matched only in Japan and at Harvard. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 13, Daily record page 25, Courier page 3, P&J page 3)

BMA conference: Coverage of the British Medical Association’s annual conference in Edinburgh highlights the current argument between doctors over whether patients paying for drugs unavailable on the NHS should still be entitled to available free treatment on the NHS.( Herald page 1, P&J page 13, Courier page 10, Scotsman page 16) Further comment in the Herald’s editorial (page 16). Also further comment today on Nicola Sturgeon’s speech comes from Lyndsay Moss (Scotsman page 11) and Alan Cochrane (Telegraph page 10)

Politics

Barnett formula is “unfit and unfair”: State funding across the UK is unfair, untenable and in need of fundamental reform according to a think tank. The solution, it argues, is to give the Scottish Parliament more power to raise taxes. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 7, P&J page 1 +7, Daily Record page 2) Also further comment in the Herald’s editorial (page 16)

Growing unease over Gordon Brown’s leadership: Gordon Brown has been confronted by the growing unease about his leadership during private meetings with Labour MPs. (Guardian page 12) Further comment from Geoffrey Wheatcroft (Guardian page 27) and Anatole Kaletskey (Times page 24)

Labour cronyism: The appointment of a former MSP as head of a Gaelic media body sparked a row over “Labour cronyism” yesterday. (Telegraph page 2, Courier page 6, P&J page 9)

Tory MEPs react in anger to expenses row: Conservative MEPs have reacted in anger after David Cameron ordered a ‘deep clean’ of their expenses. (Telegraph page 12, P&J page 5)

Glasgow East by-election: Coverage of the Glasgow East by-election continues, with confirmation last night that nine candidates will contest the seat. (Herald page 9, Scotsman page 14, Times page 11, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 12, Sun page 2, Courier page 7, Daily Mirror page 9 Daily Mail page 17, Daily Record page 5+8, Daily Express page 6) Further comment from Gerry Hassan in the Scotsman (page 28) and David Maddox (page22)

Davis re-election: Voters go to the polls today as David Davis seeks re-election in his Haltemprice and Howden constituency on the issue of civil liberties. (Herald page 9, Telegraph page 12)

MSPs taste in music: The musical passions and secrets of Scotland’s politicians were revealed last night as they opened up their record collections for a survey of their listening habits. (Scotsman page 3, Times page 11, Daily Mail page 21, Daily Express page 21, Courier page 6)