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Daily Political Media Summary: 17 July 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 17 July 2009

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.

Economy

Lloyds Banking Group: the Lloyds Banking Group announced yesterday that it would shed 1,200 more jobs. This brings the total number of redundancies at the new super bank, which is still mostly owned by the taxpayer, to more than 8,000. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 9, Times page 55, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 6)

Scottish businesses: Lending to Scottish businesses, particularly very small and "high-growth" firms, has fallen dramatically since the advent of the credit crunch, a new government survey has suggested. (Scotsman page 33, Press and Journal page 11)

Scottish Tourism: Scottish Tourism is beating the economic downturn, despite a drop in visitors to the UK due to the recession. The Office for National Statistics said there were 31.9 million foreign visitors to the UK last year, down 2.7% from the year before—the first annual drop in visitor numbers since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York. But, between then, they still spent £16.3 billion—2.3% more than in 2007. (Courier page 10)

Health

Swine Flu: Up to 65,000 people in Britain could die as a result of swine flu as the pandemic takes hold across the country, according to the government\’s latest calculations. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 1)

Education

Curriculum for Excellence: One of the main architects of curriculum reform has challenged Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop with a seven-point plan to rescue the Scottish Government’s flagship policy. Keir Bloomer, the former director of education and chief executive of Clackmannanshire Council, who was a member of the review group for A Curriculum for Excellence (ACfE), has become increasingly critical of the policy. (TESS page 1)

Scotland v England: Lindsay Patterson, professor of educational policy at the University of Edinburgh argues in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland that English schools are the best in Britain. (TESS page 3)

Politics

Glasgow North East seat: In a remarkable turn-around, former BBC journalist David Kerr is set to be made the SNP\’s fourth-choice candidate for the Glasgow North East seat vacated by former Commons Speaker Michael Martin. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 3)

Olympics: Scotland should receive an additional £300 million from the UK Government as a result of the investment in the London Olympics, a senior parliamentarian said yesterday.

Lord Richard, a former Labour leader of the House of Lords, said the public money being spent regenerating the area around the Olympic park in the East End of London should be considered English expenditure – with knock-on benefits for Scotland. (Scotsman page 14, Press and Journal page 8)

Independence: A poll showing almost half the Tory candidates thought most likely to become the next generation of Conservative MPs, are "not uncomfortable" with the idea of an independent Scotland was hailed by the SNP last night as a boost for the nationalist cause and an embarrassment for the Tories in Scotland. (Herald page 6)

Barnett Formula: The House of Lords Committee on the Barnett formula called for the system to be replaced with a fair funding mechanism for the UK\’s regions, based on their respective populations and economic needs. While Scotland receives more taxpayers\’ money than it should, the committee\’s final report concluded that Wales and Northern Ireland do not get enough. (Telegraph page 18)

Trident: The future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent was in doubt yesterday after officials said that decisions over its replacement would be delayed until after the general election. As Gordon Brown confirmed that Trident could become part of a future international disarmament deal, the UK Government said that the “initial investment decision” would not be announced until after President Obama’s nuclear summit in Washington next year. (Times page 23)