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Daily Political Media Summary: 24 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 24 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: Britain\’s economy will shrink by 4.3 per cent this year, its fastest pace of decline since World War Two, and stagnate in 2010, the OECD reported today in its quarterly economic outlook. Unemployment is likely to rise towards 10 per cent in 2010 from a current level of 7.2 per cent, the report added. (STV)

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 Crime

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Police Input: Plans to give police a formal role in deciding appropriate punishment for criminals have come under fire from MSPs. The Scottish Government intends to create a Sentencing Council that will set strict guidelines for the length of sentences for various types of offences. MSPs warned this would give the police too much power over sentencing, blurring the lines of responsibility between law enforcement and the courts. (Scotsman page 22)

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 Local Government

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Child Protection: Dundee City Council has been criticised for ‘major weaknesses’ in identifying children in the city that need protection and for ‘significant delays’ in protecting those at risk of emotional abuse or neglect. Child protection inspectors from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education warned that some children were being left for too long in situations that placed them at risk of serious harm. (Herald page 10, Times page 9, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1)

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 Health

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Swine Flu: A cross-border row over swine flu broke out yesterday after UK ministers refused to release £100 million to pay for vaccines in Scotland. Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy rejected calls by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to use the Treasury contingency fund to pay for vaccination. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 6, Courier page 9)

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 Politics

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Climate Change: Campaigners have praised a decision by the Scottish Government to increase targets for emissions reduction in climate change legislation. In a U–turn, the SNP has lodged an amendment that will see targets for emissions reduction increased from 34 per cent to 42 per cent by 2020. The Climate Change Bill is now likely to be passed at Holyrood today. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 7, STV, Courier page 12)

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 Pre-Cabinet Meeting: Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy said yesterday that the areas worst hit by the recession must receive special support to help them recover. Mr Murphy was speaking after a meeting with SNP ministers ahead of their formal session of Cabinet. (Herald page 6)

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 False Expenses: The UK Government published plans that could see MPs who defy expenses rules jailed for up to a year. Offences of making a false expense claim, failing to register a relevant interest and breaking rules on paid lobbying may be on the statute book by the time MPs break for their summer recess in the last week of July. (Guardian page 10, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 1)