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Daily Political Media Summary: 16 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 16 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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Unemployment: In a report to be published today, the TUC will warn that, while the recession may slow or end in the next year, unemployment will continue to rise. Their warning was echoed by leading international finance ministers and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, chief of the International Monetary Fund. (Scotsman page 14, Guardian page 22, FT page 3)

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Punch Taverns: Punch Taverns, which owns and operates over 8,000 pubs throughout the UK, including 400 in Scotland, saw a 30 percent drop in their shares yesterday as they announced that they were to tap shareholders for £375 million.(Scotsman page 31, FT page 20)

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Small Business: Small businesses have reported a 1.2 percent drop in costs this quarter as prices for labour, advertising, vehicles and raw materials fell. Profit margins remain low as demand for products and services has slumped. (Scotsman page 31)

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Banking jobs: Recruitment for permanent jobs in the finance and banking services is down 40 to 50 percent this year. With the impending merger of Lloyds and HBOS, more cuts are expected over the next 18 months to two years, with employment levels in the industry not expected to reach 2008 levels until at least 2017. (Herald page 24)

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Transport 

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Road Death Toll: Scotland is to set the toughest targets in the United Kingdom for cutting the toll of deaths and serious accidents, with a target of a 40 percent reduction by 2020, according to an announcement made yesterday by Stewart Stevenson, the Transport minister for Scotland. (Scotsman page 20)

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Health

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Swine Flu: In the continuing pandemic, 71 new cases of swine flu in Scotland were confirmed yesterday as the premature son of the first swine flu fatality in the UK died shortly after his mother, although this was not as a result of swine flu. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Times page 9, Telegraph page 2, Guardian page 10, Daily Record page 1, Press and Journal page 1) Glasgow’s worst case emergency response to swine flu could involve closing museums and swimming pools. (Herald page 4)

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Politics

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Calman Commission: The Calman Commission report, released yesterday, has called for widespread reform of the Scottish devolution settlement, including greater control over taxes and borrowing powers, elections, driving regulations and conservation for Holyrood. Labour has said it aims to push through many of the reforms proposed before the next general election. Reform Scotland Chairman Ben Thomson comments on this in both The Times and The Scotsman.  (Scotsman page 1, page 4, Herald page 1, FT page 2, Times page 1, page 15, page 16, Henry McLeish page 17, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 8, Daily Record page 8, Daily Mail page 1, Press and Journal page 10, Courier page 9, Alan Cochrane in Telegraph page 20)