Daily Political Media Summary: 10 June 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 10 June 2009

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

 Economy

Debt: The average amount owed by Scots now exceeds £20,000; a new study finds. (Herald page 8, Press and Journal page 15, Daily Express page 4)

 Banks: Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker yesterday warned the economic state of the United Kingdom would not become clear until the autumn and told banks they needed to lend more to sustain a recovery. (Herald page 25)

 Buy-out: Glasgow’s financial sector will enjoy an economic boost from the birth of Maven Capital Partners UK; another independent private equity house based in the city, which will manage £160m of funds for some 9000 investors. (Herald page 26)

Lloyds Banking Group: Lloyds Banking Group is working on the basis that it may close up to 400 bank branches, including 164 Cheltenham & Gloucester outlets set to shut in November. (FT page 12)

Crime

Short sentences: Managers of Scotland’s prison estate yesterday backed the Scottish Government’s policy of eradicating short-term sentences. Mike Ewart, the chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service, said that locking criminals up for six months or less made the community a more dangerous place. He said short-term sentences did nothing to rehabilitate offenders. (Scotsman page 2, Courier page 3, Daily Express page 5)

Police numbers: Kenny MacAskill claimed yesterday that the Scottish Government was on target to meet its commitment of 1,000 extra police after new figures showed that the number of officers in Scotland had risen above 17,000 for the first time. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, Courier page 11, Press and Journal page 7)

Local Government

Council Tax breaks: Council tax breaks for energy efficiency measures such as better insulation look almost certain to be included in the legislation now going through the Scottish Parliament. A Labour move yesterday for the Climate Change Bill to include a tax break scheme was backed in a 5-3 vote at a Holyrood Committee. (Herald page 2)

Health

Swine Flu: The head of the World Health Organisation has said that swine flu has reached pandemic proportions. A further 32 people were confirmed yesterday with swine flu in Scotland, bringing the total to 264.  (Scotsman page 6, Press and Journal page 5)

 Gastric Bypass: The number of Scots resorting to major surgery for obesity has increased seven-fold in five years, figures have revealed. (Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 8)

 Politics

Repossession rules: Legislation making it harder for mortgage lenders to repossess homes has been promised by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government pledge came in response to a report on repossessions by an expert group of lawyers, mortgage lenders, debt advisors and consumer bodies. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, Daily Express page 4)

 Constitutional Reform: Gordon Brown will try to revive his embattled premiership by announcing a raft of radical constitutional reforms, including examining possibility of a new voting system for sending MPs to Westminster. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Guardian page 1, FT page 1, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 10)

 Ministerial spending: Scottish Ministers will have to rein in spending for years to come due to the state of public finances, an official inquiry has found. (Telegraph page 8, Courier page 4)