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Daily Political Media Summary: 17 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 17 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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Economic Recovery: Chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland Stephen Hester said yesterday that the global financial economy had ‘turned a corner’ but that the full impact of losses from loans secured against property in the banking sector could take years to untangle. (Times page 45, Scotsman page 20)

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 Unemployment: Unemployment has soared to a 12-year high of more than 2.2 million after a record number of people lost their jobs in recent months, new figures showed today. (Scotsman page 11, Guardian page 2, FT page 1)

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 Transport 

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Edinburgh Trams: Willie Gallagher, former chief executive of the city council’s tram firm, will get £41,000 in bonuses despite the tram network running into a string of problems since his departure. (Scotsman page 20)

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 Health

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Swine Flu: The number of swine flu cases in Scotland leapt dramatically yesterday with 930 patients now diagnosed with the virus. The Scottish Government revealed cases had jumped by 361 in the space of a day after diagnostic changes. (Scotsman page 10)

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 Education

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Teaching Posts: The number of teacher vacancies has dropped by 40 per cent in the past year, making it ‘almost impossible’ to find a job. The number of available posts has fallen from 607 to 372, according to government figures. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 8, Daily Express page 8)

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 Politics

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Expenses Row: Labour MP Jim Devine became the latest casualty of the expenses scandal when he was banned from representing the party at the next election. Mr Devine is alleged to have submitted receipts for £2,157 of work from a firm that does not exist and 66 metres of office shelving for £2,326. He is the fifth MP to be effectively deselected.  (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Courier page 1)

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 Referendum: First Minister Alex Salmond has said that proposals to increase the devolved powers available to the Scottish Parliament should be part of an SNP referendum on independence. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Times page 12, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 9)

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 Calman Commission: The financial reforms proposed by the Calman Commission have been criticised by a group of leading economists. Eight internationally renowned economists call proposals for limited tax reform ‘at best a missed opportunity and at worst a recipe for economic instability in the future’. They also accuse Calman of ‘side-stepping’ the real solution of fiscal autonomy. (Scotsman page 6, page 28)

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 Scottish Futures Trust: The SNP’s flagship scheme for building schools and hospitals suffered another knockback yesterday when its chairman Sir Angus Grossart said it will use any form of funding, even the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model which the Scottish Government opposes, if that provides the best value for money. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 2)

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 Civil servant bonuses: Senior civil servants were awarded ‘bonuses’ totalling £26 million last year, it was reported last night. The money was paid out in ‘non-consolidated performance pay’ shared between 2,600 of the most senior officials working in Whitehall it was claimed. (Scotsman page 20)