Daily Political Media Summary: 19 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 19 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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Fred Goodwin: Sir Fred Goodwin, former chief of Royal Bank of Scotland, has volunteered to take a 40 per cent cut in his controversial pension plan, bringing his yearly salary down to £342,500 from £555,000. His £2.7 million lump sum will remain untouched. His decision was made in an effort to stem public anger toward him and his family. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 14, Daily Telegraph page 14, B1, Guardian page 9, FT page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 9, Daily Mail page 13, Daily Record page 1)

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Scotland’s Deficit: The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report released yesterday showed Scotland was in deficit by £3.2 billion in 2007-8, a time when oil prices were historically high. The report has reignited debate over Scotland’s economic ability to stand on its own. The figures have been disputed, igniting a debate between SNP and Labour over how the figures should be interpreted. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 9, Times page 32, Press and Journal page 6)

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North Sea Oil: Alistair Darling’s move to develop smaller and less profitable oil and gas reserves in the North Sea could lead to the development of 50 more oil fields off the coast of Scotland. It has been suggested that even with prices at $40 a barrel, the development of up to 40 new fields could be triggered over the next 25 years. (Scotsman page 33, Press and Journal page 18)

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Crime

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Tartan Terrorist: The son of a domestic terrorist has been jailed for six years as of yesterday for sending threatening packages and hate mail to MSPs in an attempt to free his father, dubbed the “tartan terrorist” from jail. (Herald page 4, Scotsman page 13, Daily Telegraph page 16, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Express page 17, Daily Mail page 27)

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Pipe Band: Under pressure from tightening budgetary constraints, Scotland is looking at potentially getting rid of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band in order to devote more money to the task of fighting crime. Chief Superintendent of Police John Pollock has called scrapping the band one of the “hard decisions” that Strathclyde’s chief constable would have to make. (Scotsman page 10)

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Prisoner Payouts: The Scottish Parliament yesterday moved to block a loophole which has seen millions of pounds paid out to prisoners over human rights claims such as sharing cells. The emergency legislation, which was passed without dissent, would impose a one year time limit for bringing breaches of human rights claims to court, which could potentially save up to £50 million in future payouts. (Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 6)

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Health

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Swine Flu: Nine new testing facilities for swine flu have been set up in Scotland. It is hoped that the new centres will enable health care authorities to get a more accurate picture of the way in which the virus is spreading in Scotland. (Herald page 1)

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Education

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Dundee College: Dundee College has been praised by HMIE inspectors as giving its students “excellent skills for employability” in a push by the Scottish Government to advance skills education as a way to fight the recession. (Times Educational Supplement page 18)

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Politics

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Expense Reports: MPs released expense reports yesterday in a response to public outcry, however, much of the reports were blacked out. The House of Commons claims that the censoring of the reports is for security reasons. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1 Press and Journal page 1, FT page 2, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Record page 4, Sun page 1)