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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 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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Scottish Development International: The World Bank has ranked the Scottish Development International (SDI) sixth in the world amongst national and subnational investment bodies for its work in attracting overseas investment to Scotland. It has outranked all other UK agencies. (Sunday Herald page 55)

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 Transport

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High Speed Trains: The London shuttle and other domestic flights between Scotland and England could become a thing of the past thanks to a 200mph high-speed rail network in Britain, the new UK transport secretary Lord Adonis believes. Adonis said the market for domestic flights would collapse within the next 20 years as the train became the preferred mode of travel. The proposed high-speed rail network would cut journey times between London and Glasgow to 2 hr 42 min. (Sunday Times page 8)

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 Health

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NHS: Scotland is set to become the first country in the world with an entirely paperless health service, as wireless hand-held computers allow doctors and nurses to check and update patient records wherever they go. (Sunday Herald page 6)

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 Swine Flu: Government confusion over the growing number of swine flu outbreaks in schools is seeing parents keep children at home en masse over fears about the spread of the illness. A futher 60 people were diagnosed with swine flu on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 626. The Scottish Government sparked debate yesterday by saying Westminster should pay the £100 million bill for vaccinating everyone in Scotland against swine flu. (Sunday Herald page 8, Scotland on Sunday page 3, Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 6, Courier page 8)

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 Free NHS: Free health care for all on the NHS cannot continue indefinitely, doctors will be told today amid calls for a major debate on the future funding of the health service. Growing pressures from an ageing population, expensive new treatments and the impact of the recession means that something ‘will have to give’ if the NHS is going to survive. (Scotsman page 8, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Politics

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Calman Commission: Plans to give Scotland a mix of limited new powers are dangerous, illiterate and a ‘disaster waiting to happening’, according to Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet, one of Alex Salmond’s financial advisors. Geoff Mawdsley, Director of Reform Scotland,  is quoted in the Sunday Herald saying, “Either you believe in the principle of accountability or you don’t. If you are [directly raising]a third of the Scottish parliament’s revenue, it’s still a small percentage.” (Sunday Herald page 25, Iain Macwhirter in Sunday Herald, page 45, Sunday Times page 5)

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 Alex Salmond: Alex Salmond is continuing to reject calls for him to open up his diaries, amid evidence he claimed for food costs at Westminster two years ago despite rarely attending the Commons. (Scotland on Sunday page 6)

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 Performance Targets: The Scottish Government is failing to hit half its performance targets, including cutting deaths from heart disease and encouraging greater use of public transport. A website designed to let the public track whether Scotland is becoming safer, healthier, greener, wealthier and smarter under the SNP shows ministers delivering in only 16 out of 33 areas where performance is being measured. (Sunday Times page 5)

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 Devolved Powers: SNP ministers will demand more powers for Holyrood in a face-to-face meeting wth the Scottish Secretary tomorrow. A spokesman for Alex Salmond said there was now ‘effective unanimity’ that Scotland should be given more powers in line with the Calman Commission report. (Herald page 6, Courier page 10)

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