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28 October 2008

Reform Scotland
\r\nDaily Political Media Summary: 28 October 2008
\r\nAll newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.
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\r\nEconomy
\r\nEconomic Downturn: Further analysis of the economic crisis as new reports suggest that states could be facing as much of a threat as banks and firms. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been called upon to do more to help those struggling. Inflation meanwhile has been tipped to drop to just 2.9% over the course of the next 12 months from its current position of 5.2%. The fall in the pound has also resulted in the British economy being overtaken by the French, and could soon be overtaken by the Italian. (Scotsman pages 6 and 7, P&J page 8, Herald page 34, Alf Young in the Herald, Telegraph B1, Telegraph page 4, Times page 38, Times page 1, FT page 1 and page 3, Guardian page 1 and 2)

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Government Borrowing: Gordon Brown yesterday defended his strategy of borrowing his way out of the current economic problems, stating that it was the ‘responsible’ thing to do. David Cameron labelled the strategy ‘as a gigantic con trick’ (Courier and Advertiser page 11, P&J page 8, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Times page 6, FT page 2, Guardian page 6, Daily Mirror page 7)
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\r\nLocal Income Tax: The Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, yesterday said that the vast majority of elderly people in Scotland would be better off as a result of the introduction of the local income tax. The SNP are also considering exempting students. (Courier and Advertiser page 9, P&J page 10)

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House Sales: Prospective house buyers are pulling out of property deals due to a lack of confidence in the property market. Housebuilders are reporting cancellation rates of between 25% and 40%. (Scotsman page 8)

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Paper Mill Closure: Politicians in the north-east of Scotland are united in trying to save a threatened paper mill. The mill in Inverurie is haemorrhaging more than £1m a month and is being threatened with closure by its American owners. (P&J page 6)

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Lighthouse: Scotland’s centre for architecture and design, the Lighthouse has run up a deficit of almost £300,000 and has asked for an increase in funding from Glasgow City Council. (Herald page 3)

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Lloyds Deal: Alex Salmond is today in London to make a plea to the bosses of Lloyds to keep banking jobs in Scotland. Mr Salmond will make a presentation to try and save as many as 17,000 jobs currently held by HBOS. (Scotsman page 8, Courier and Advertiser page 8, P&J page 8, Herald page 6, Daily Record pages 1 and 2)

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Sub-Sea Cable: Plans have been lodged with the Scottish Government to build a sub-sea cable between Lewis and the Scottish mainland with the intent to transmit electricity to the mainland. The proposal has been made with the intention of creating renewable energy on the island. (Scotsman page 13)

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Education
\r\nPrivate Schools: Four of Scotland’s top private schools could lose their status as charitable bodies following a review by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). The schools are Merchiston Castle in Edinburgh; Hutchesons’ in Glasgow; Lomond in Helensburgh and St Leonards in St Andrews. (Scotsman pages 1 and 4 and 5, Herald page 1 and page 4)

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Dyslexia: Dyslexic children in Scotland are being let down due to the lack of a cohesive strategy in schools. A new report states that there is a shortage of specialist teachers in Scotland’s schools who can teach dyslexic children. (Scotsman page 16, P&J page 7, Herald Focus page 13)

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BBC Alba: More than 600,000 viewers tuned in to watch the first week of broadcasts from BBC Alba, Scotland’s new digital TV station. The channel has a budget of £14m and the BBC has set a target of 250,000 viewers. (Scotsman page 9)

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Health
\r\nCancer rates: Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary has announced plans for a new blueprint to help cut cancer rates in Scotland. Amongst the measures being announced is a pledge of £13m so that woman can receive better screening at breast exams. (Scotsman page 11, P&J page 11, Herald page 1 and page 2, Telegraph page 9)

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Babies Test: Scientists are close to developing a test that may save the lives of up to 1,000 babies and between 7 and 10 mothers a year. The condition known as pre-eclampsia causes pregnant woman to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy and can prove fatal. (Scotsman page 15)

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Politics
\r\nGlenrothes By-Election: Further coverage of the build up to the Glenrothes by-election. Yesterday’s campaigning centred around the SNP’s plans for a local income tax, with the Chancellor Alistair Darling stating that the proposals would damage the Scottish economy. Alex Salmond has made his eighth visit to the Fife constituency, as the SNP focussed on the future of Fife’s energy needs. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile, have criticised Mr Salmond’s repeated trips to the constituency asking ‘who is running the country?’ For the Conservatives, William Hague has made a visit to aid local candidate Maurice Golden. (Scotsman page 12, Courier and Advertiser page 9, P&J page 9, Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald, Herald page 7, Telegraph page 8, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Times page 5, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Record page 6)
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\r\nPoppy Day: Alex Salmond has told Scots to wear poppies with pride after the opening of the Scottish Poppy Appeal at Stirling castle last night. (Scotsman page 15)
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\r\nGeorge Osborne: George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor has given up his role as a fundraiser on behalf of the Conservative Party. He has admitted making a mistake by meeting with the Russian, Oleg Deripaska on his luxury yacht in the Mediterranean. (Scotsman page 16, P&J page 5, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 2, Times page 18, Peter Riddell in the Times, FT page 2, Guardian page 4, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 11)
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