Daily Political Media Summary: 21 October 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. .
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\r\nEconomy
\r\nHBOS: Further comment and analysis on the proposed takeover of HBOS. The Scotsman (page 1) has written to the Office of Fair Trading calling on it to investigate the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS. The Scotsman claims that the proposal will reduce the number of deals available for mortgages, retail accounts and insurance and have a disproportionate affect in Scotland. (Margo MacDonald in the Scotsman, Alf Young in the Herald, Nils Pratley in the Guardian)
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\r\nCredit crunch: Further comment and analysis on the economic slowdown. (George Pascoe-Watson in the Sun, Patrick O’Flynn in the Express, Michael Blastland & Andrew Dilnot in the Times, Nicholas Timms in the FT, Philip Stephens in the FT, Tracy Corrigan in the Telegraph)
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\r\nFamily-friendly reforms: The Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has signalled that family-friendly reforms due to be introduced, including extending flexible working, are being put on ice due to the economic slowdown. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, Record page 2, Guardian page 6, Courier page 11, FT page 2, Telegraph page 4)
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\r\nBorrowing: The UK’s borrowing level has reached the highest point since the end of the Second World War. In the first six months of the financial year the UK borrowed £37.6bn, a 75% rise on the same period last year and the largest amount since 1946. At the end of September the country’s debt stood at £645.3bn. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 1, Michael Settle in the Herald, Sun page 2, Express page 9, Mirror page 6, Times page 14, Mail page 12, Guardian page 6, Courier page 1, P&J page 11, FT page 1, Telegraph page 5)
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\r\nScottish Water: Scottish Water has been criticised for failing to meet annual leak reduction targets and for the speed at which investment projects are receiving results. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 10)
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\r\nSmall businesses: Yesterday David Cameron set out plans for a VAT holiday and National Insurance reduction for small firms. (Herald page 4, Express page 9, David Cameron in the Mail, Courier page 11, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 4)
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\r\nPost Office: The SNP has criticised Lord Mandelson’s suggestion of part-privatising the Post Office in the middle of a recession. (P&J page 1, Telegraph page 10)
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\r\nCrime
\r\nPolice for hire: A growing number of Scottish police officers are being hired our by private companies including football clubs, film production companies and drinks producers. (Scotsman page 6)
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\r\nSex offenders: 183 of Scotland’s 3,000 registered sex offenders breached the terms of the register last year, while nine offenders classed in the police’s most serious risk group were convicted for further serious sexual or violent offences. (Scotsmanpage 11, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Sun page 25, Express page 4, Mail page 18, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 15)
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\r\nShirley McKie: The public inquiry into the Shirley McKie fingerprint case began yesterday. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 8, Times page 19, Courier page 9, P&J page 10, Telegraph page 9)
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\r\nDumfries & Galloway Police: Scotland’s smallest police force may have to cut officer numbers in order to meet a £1m savings target. (Herald page 6, Express page 10, Times page 9, Mail page 8, Telegraph page 15)
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\r\nTransport
\r\nCheaper ferries: David Ross and Catherine Fegan in the Herald (page 13) investigate the road equivalent tariff scheme for ferries.
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\r\nEducation
\r\nCollege lecturers: Lecturers at Scotland’s largest college, James Watt College, are considering strike action after rejecting a new pay deal. (Herald page 3)
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\r\nHealth
\r\nGP appointments: More than 500,000 Scots are to be asked how easy it is to book an appointment with their GP as the Government reviews how well the 48-hour target is being met. (Herald page 5, Courier page 9, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 12)
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\r\nGPs’ income: Ian McKee in the Scotsman (page 39) comments on the inequality of GP pay which sees some GPs in deprived areas with a heavier workload receiving a lower average income.
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\r\nLocal Government
\r\nLocal Income Tax: The Scottish Conservatives claimed yesterday that rising unemployment in Scotland as a result of the impending recession would lead to a funding shortfall of £500m in the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a local income tax. (Telegraph page 1)
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\r\nPolitics

\r\nNationalism: Hamish Macdonell in the Scotsman (page 22) comments that the economic downturn will not kill off Scottish independence.
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\r\nGlenrothes by-election: Further coverage of the by-election. Yesterday on the campaign trail Alan Johnston said that the SNP should take responsibility for its own budget and stop looking to Westminster for money that didn’t exist. Both the SNP and Labour yesterday claimed they were the party to trust with the NHS. (Herald page 6, Express page 2, Times page 9, Mail page 9, Record page 2, Courier page 8, P&J page 9)
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\r\nConservative donations: Russia’s richest man entertained David Cameron and George Osborne on his yacht to discuss a £50,000 donation to the party. Oleg Deripaska also entertained Peter Mandelson. (Times page 1)