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Daily Political Media Summary: 28 August 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Green taxes: Families are paying nearly £800 a year too much in green taxes which do nothing to help the environment according to a report commissioned by the Taxpayers Alliance. (Sun page 2, Mail page 1, Express page 1, Telegraph page 4)

House sales: Sales of homes in Scotland fell by 19.4% between April and June compared to the same time last year. However the average house price rose 3.6% in the second quarter of 2008. (Herald page 1 and 15, Sun page 14, Mail page 9, Courier page 6, P&J page 9)

Working from home: One in nine Scottish workers work from home according to the Scottish Household Survey published yesterday. (Herald page 7)

Recession: Capital Economics has become the first significant forecaster to project a full-year drop in GDP over 2009. The company predicts that national income will decline by 0.2%. (Times page 36, Mail page 19)

Mortgages: Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, yesterday announced plans to help families who cannot pay their mortgages. (Scotsman page 8, FT page 2)

Energy costs: The Business Secretary John Hutton has said that the era of cheap energy costs was over. John Hutton has also expressed the Government’s desire for a deal between British Energy and Edf to be agreed within two weeks. (Telegraph page 1 and B1)

University funding:
The Chancellor of Edinburgh University has called on John Swinney and the Scottish Government to match the financial support given to universities south of the border by the UK Government. (Herald page 6)

Education in Norway: Scottish Ministers are looking to Norway to learn lessons about improving education in Scotland. Areas highlighted include the democratic rights of children from nursery age upwards and a greater use of the outdoors. (Herald page 8)

Obesity map:
A map drawing on data from all over the UK has been drawn up to illustrate the variance in obesity across the country. Shetland has the worst obesity problem within the UK with 15.54% of NHS patients classed as obese. (Scotsman page 6, Sun page 15, Record page 2, Mirror page 21, Times page 20, Mail page 11, Guardian page 16, FT page 4, Courier page 10, P&J page 6, Telegraph page 8)

Health spending: Labour has claimed that health spending per capita in England could outstrip Scotland in four years time. Currently £226 more per person is spent on health provision in Scotland. (Scotsman page 8, Sun page 2, Courier page 3)

Free personal care: John MacLeod in the Mail (page 14) comments on the current financial crisis facing free personal care of the elderly and questions whether the state should pay.

Data: New controls on the storage of computerised data are to be introduced at NHS Dumfries & Galloway following the loss of two computer memory sticks containing patients’ sensitive information. (Herald page 13)

Scottish Labour contest: Further coverage on the race to replace Wendy Alexander. Iain Gray has accused Alex Salmond of being a juvenile bully who uses playground tactics while fellow contender Andy Kerr has called for a minimum wage for apprentices. (Scotsman page 11, Iain Gray in the Scotsman, Courier page 7, P&J page 9)

Glenrothes by-election: Labour leaders apparently favour holding the Glenrothes by-election on either 30th October or 6 November. The second date is the day after the American Presidential election with party bosses hoping that a bad result could be buried in the news schedule. Despite press reports that the Prime Minister would head the campaign in Glenrothes, aids have insisted that Gordon Brown will keep his distance from the campaign. Lindsay Roy, the headmaster of Gordon Brown’s old school has launched a bid to become the Labour party candidate. (Scotsman page 13, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Times page 8, Express page 2, Kerry Gill in the Express, Courier page 7)