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Daily Political Media Summary: 15 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 15 June 2009

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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.

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Economy

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Recession: The CBI today made a prediction that the worst of the recession is over, making upgraded forecasts for growth, however, it warned that Scotland may lag behind the rest of the UK. The CBI predicted that there will be growth of 0.1 percent in the UK in the first quarter of 2010, though it has said that Scotland may not see growth until later on in the year. CBI Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to prepare the country for a ‘new period of austerity’ and to prepare itself and the public for budget freezes and pay cuts, rather than raising taxes. (Scotsman page 28, Times page 36, Guardian page 21, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 8, FT page 2, Sunday Herald page 51)

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Steven Hester: The Royal Bank of Scotland is reassessing chief executive Steven Hester’s incentives package after institutional investors said that their initial proposals were not generous enough. They have denied that the re-evaluation will result in Hester definitely being given greater rewards. (Scotsman page 28, Herald page 25) 

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Hebrides: With the possible cuts of up to 120 jobs in missile testing facilities on islands in the Hebrides, people fear impending economic disaster for the area. QinetiQ, the privatised research branch of the Ministry of Defence, is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will curtail some of the 250 jobs held by people in the Hebrides. (Herald page 3)

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4000 jobs boost: More than 4000 jobs were created or secured last year through overseas efforts to boost Scotland’s economy, it was announced on Sunday. Nearly half of the total were high value jobs with salaries of more than £31,000, and total investment plans came to more than £500 million. The figures came in the annual results of Scottish Development International. (Courier page 3, Scotland on Sunday page 5, Sunday Post page 15)

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Crime

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European ruling: Thousands of convicted criminals could be freed from Scottish jails following a European ruling that interviewing suspects without their lawyer present is a breach of human rights. (Sunday Times page 10)

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Health

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Swine Flu: A Scottish woman became the first patient in the UK to die of swine flu yesterday. She was being treated in the Royal Alexandra Hospital outside Glasgow. She is the first person outside the Americas to die of the disease. Officials have urged the public not to become too alarmed as the victim is said to have had “underlying health problems.” (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 11, Courier page 1)

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Politics

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Calman Commission: Sir Kenneth Calman is set to release the Calman Commission report today which is expected to argue for a shift in power towards devolution. Among other things, the report is expected to call for greater power for the Scottish Parliament to influence taxes, including income, stamp and landfill taxes, in Scotland as well as powers to borrow and control over firearms and driving limits. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Sunday Herald page 1, Sunday Times page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1, page 12, Wendy Alexander page 16) Comments: (Scotsman page 24, Herald page 15, Times page 11)

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Jim Devine: Scottish Labour MP Jim Devine is expected to face a chamber of Labour officials who may bar him from representing Labour at the next general election. Mr Devine has seen a public outcry against him after struggling to justify the £4,483 of public money he claimed for expenses. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 7)  

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Tartan Tax: Former US presidential candidate Steve Forbes will urge Alex Salmond to avoid burdening Scotland with a punishing tax regime when they meet at Gleneagles this week at the Forbes CEO Forum. (Scotland on Sunday page B1)