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Daily Political Media Summary: 2 October 2008

Economy
Savings: Speculation about the future of UK banks has led to millions of pounds being shifted between accounts as customers seek a safe haven for their savings (Scotsman page 6, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, Mirror page 11, Express page 1, Mail page 12). British banks criticised Ireland’s decision to guarantee all bank deposits, saying that it distorted competition (Herald page 1).

European rescue fund: France has proposed a 300bn euro European rescue fund to help troubled banks (FT page 1, Times page 1).

Subprime home loans: More than 21,000 householders in Scotland have been given subprime mortgages in the past three years (Scotsman page 6)

Banking crisis: Further general comment and analysis on the banking crisis (Martin Flanagan in the Scotsman, Ian Blackford in the Scotsman, FT page 3, John Gapper in the FT).

Manufacturing: The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s latest purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing has shown the sharpest drop in activity since 1992 (Herald page 32, Times page 2, Guardian page 6, P&J page 11, FT page 1).

Small businesses: The number of people starting their own business has fallen by more than one third since last year, according to statistics published by the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers (Herald page 5).

Crime
Open prison estate: Comment on the use of the open estate in Scotland following news that Robert Foye, who went on the run from an open prison and raped a 16 year old girl, was jailed for life yesterday. (Scotsman page 8, Kenny MacAskill in the Scotsman, Herald page 8, Telegraph page 13, Courier page 1, P&J page 1, Mirror page 19, Express page 7, Mail page 10, Record page 17).

Education
School choice:
A court has sided with George and Liz Mulloch and agreed that they know what is best for their disabled child. The couple spent two years fighting to get their daughter sent to the Royal Blind School while Argyll & Bute Council’s argued their daughter could cope in mainstream schooling (Scotsman page 1).

Free school meals: The Scottish Government intends to extend the availability of free school meals to an additional 44,000 children from next August (Scotsman page 9, P&J page 13, Express page 9, Record page 2).

National curriculum: The Scottish Government has been criticised for not consulting widely enough on its plans to overhaul the curriculum (Herald page 11).

Health
Alcohol age limits: Proposals to raise the age at which you can buy alcohol from shops will be debated in the Scottish Parliament today. Opposition parties are expected to unite behind a Conservative motion attacking the plans. (Scotsman page 11, Burning Issue in the Scotsman).

Top-up funding review: The Health Secretary has announced a review into the rules about patients ‘topping-up’ their care with drugs not available on the NHS. At the moment if patients pay for a non-NHS drug, they must then pay for their entire NHS treatment (Times page 13, Herald page 2 and page 13, Telegraph page 12, Courier page 8, P&J page 9). Hugh McLachlan argues against this rule in the Scotsman (page 28), saying that it is like denying school pupils free state education because their parents employ private tutors. Melanie Reid also examines the arguments in the Times (page 13).

Palliative care: An action plan to give terminally-ill patients the right to die at home will be announced by the Scottish Health Secretary today. Health boards will have to provide 24-hour community nursing and care services (Herald page 1).

Local Government
Pay offer: Scotland’s two Labour-run councils are reportedly breaking ranks with their colleagues to push for an increased pay settlement of between 3 and 3.5% for council workers. Councils have so far stuck to an offer of 2.5%. A week-long strike by council call centre staff is due to begin on Monday (Herald page 9).

Politics
Conservative party conference: Further coverage of the Tory Party conference. David Cameron made his speech to conference yesterday arguing that he was “a man with a plan” to lead the country back to prosperity and that he, rather than Gordon Brown, had the judgement, leadership and character necessary for the difficult times facing the country. (Scotsman page 14, Times page 6, Alice Miles in the Times, Peter Riddell in the Times, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Iain Martin in the Telegraph, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Seamus Milne in the Guardian, Courier page 1, P&J page 1 and page 5, Mirror page 4, Express page 2, FT page 2, Mail page 6, Max Hastings in the Mail, Record page 2).

Parliamentary standards: Labour’s finance spokesman, Andy Kerr, was given a written warning by the fiscal for failing to declare on time that he had accepted free tickets to a football match (Sun page 4). MSPs will now have to provide details of all relatives who work for them (Telegraph page 16, Courier page 3, P&J page 17).

Eric Joyce: Falkirk Labour MP Eric Joyce has been banned from driving for six months after speeding on the M9 (P&J page 13, Express page 11, Mail page 21, Record page 2).