Daily Political Media Summary: 8 September 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy
Immigration:
A cross party group on immigration has called for the number of immigrants being allowed into the UK to be balanced against those leaving to prevent population levels increasing by 20 million over the next 50 years. This would mean only 20,000 non-EU individuals would be allowed to settle in the UK each year. The report by the group also states that Scotland does not need large-scale immigration to fill its skills gap. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 7, Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun, Mail page 1, James Slack in the Mail, Times page 8, Express page 15, Guardian page 14, FT page 2, Telegraph page 1, Philip Johnston in the Telegraph)

Scottish economy: According to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index report Scottish Companies have suffered from a “deeper and broader than expected” hit from the credit crunch. (Scotsman page 26)

Income tax: The Liberal Democrats are expected to call for Holyrood to be given complete control of income tax as part of the party’s review of devolution. (Scotsman page 5)

Nuclear energy: In a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has said that the Scottish Government is wrong to rule out nuclear energy as part of the country’s future energy mix. (Herald page 1, Courier page 2, Scotland on Sunday Business page 2)

Economic outlook: Further comment and analysis on the UK economic outlook. Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said that the UK economy will begin to improve as soon as next year, while Derek Brownlee in the Sunday Herald comments on the SNP’s attempts to stimulate the Scottish economy. (FT page 2, Sunday Herald page 66, Scotland on Sunday Business page 5, Bill Jamieson in the Scotland on Sunday Business)

Pub industry: One Scottish pub is closing down every 48 hours according to he British Been and Pub Association. (Herald page 9)

Health
Pigs bred for transplants: Labour peer and fertility expert Lord Winston in to begin breeding genetically modified pigs in the hope of providing organs for transplant. (Scotsman page 8, Sunday Times page 1)

Alcohol related problems: According to new figures an increasing number of Scots are drinking so much alcohol that they are suffering from alcohol related brain damage. (Scotsman page 10, Sunday Post page 9)

Drug innovation: Andy Powrie-Smith, the new head of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, has said Scotland is not moving forward fast enough on life sciences and that the refusal to give patients some of the latest treatments is holding the country back. (Herald page 13, Sun page 19)

Condoms in schools: Pupils in Scotland are to be offered free condoms and pregnancy tests at clinics set up in rural schools. (Mail page 6, Express page 8, P&J page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1)

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary: According to a study of patients at the Aberdeen hospital, patients are being needlessly exposed to serious complications due to unnecessary tubes being inserted into them. (P&J page 1)

Car parking charges: Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times (page 23) argues against scrapping car parking charges at NHS hospitals in Scotland commenting that saving a visitor 25p an hour will cost the NHS £5.5million a year.

Local Government
Local Income Tax:
Lib Dem finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis is set to meet John Swinney this week to reach an agreement where both the SNP and Lib Dems can work together to replace the council tax with a local income tax in Scotland. The two Green MSPs have also indicated their support to the proposal. The negotiations come despite a new opinion poll showing that support for the policy has dropped to 46% from 88% a year ago. (Scotsman page 1, Mail page 2, Times page 9, Express page 2, Courier page 14, Telegraph page 10, Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald, Scotland on Sunday page 2, Sunday Times page 1 and page 17, Michael Portillo in the Sunday Times)

Edinburgh councillor: Councillor Elizabeth Maginnis, a councillor in Edinburgh for over 21 years, died yesterday of a brain haemorrhage. (Scotsman page 9)

Politics
Brown’s fightback: The Prime Minister is expected to launch a personal fightback today to save his premiership by drawing on his personal experience of overcoming near blindness and by acknowledging that some people have been failed by Labour. New policies are likely to include a new deal for the elderly and long-term decisions on transport and energy. However the fightback comes as the TUC’s annual conference begins tomorrow in Brighton with the possibility of a long winter of industrial action. (Heraldpage 1, Torcuil Crichton in the Herald, Greg Rosen in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Mail page 10, Times page 1, Mirror page 6, Record page 2, Express page 2, Guardian page 4, FT page 2, P&J page 15, Telegraph page 4, James Cusick in the Sunday Herald, Iain Macwhiter in the Sunday Herald, Roy Hattersley in the Sunday Post, Eddie Barnes in the Scotland on Sunday, Murray Ritchie in the Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Times page 2, Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times)

Tories and independence: A YouGov poll published over the weekend showed that a quarter of Scots would be more likely to vote for independence if the Conservatives win the next general election. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Sun page 8, Mirror page 6, Express page 4, Telegraph page 10, Sunday Times page 7)

Cabinet meets in Birmingham: The first meeting of the UK Cabinet to be held outside London since 1912 will take place today in Birmingham. (Herald page 6)

Stay at home mothers: The Centre for Social Justice has called for mothers to be given financial help to encourage them to stay at home with their young children. (Mail page 21, Sunday Times page 11, Iain Duncan Smith in the Sunday Times)

Economic legacy: George Osborne has said that the UK’s dire public finances will impose a “straightjacket” on an incoming Conservative government for years to come. As a result the party is reviewing its economic plans for government. (Guardianpage 1, Interview with George Osborne in the Guardian)

Federal UK: Former First Minister Henry McLeish has called for the setting up of a federal UK with a separate parliament for England. (Sunday Post page 2)

Tavish Scott: Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times (Ecosse page 6) comments on the new leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland.