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Daily Political Media Summary: 22 July 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 22 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

Diageo: First Minister Alex Salmond said last night that there was a “powerful counter-argument” to whisky giant Diageo’s proposal to axe 900 jobs. (Scotsman page 2, Courier page 10, Press and Journal page 10)

 UK debt: The UK faces tax hikes and spending cuts after government debt soars to its highest level since records began, borrowing £5,000 a second. (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page B1)

 Spending cuts: The UK’s government debt cannot be tackled by spending cuts alone but will require a combination of tax increases and longer working lives, says the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The think-tank warned that government finances will remain mired deep in the red for at least another four years. (Times, page 41, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 11)

 Venture Production: The Aberdeen-based group has vowed to press on with its defence against a £1.3 billion hostile takeover by Centrica, despite disappointing results from a key North Sea well. (Scotsman page 34, Herald page 26, Press and Journal page 16)

 Clyde shipyards: A multi-million pound deal that could see a new generation of frigates being built at Govan and Scotstoun shipyards on the Clyde was signed yesterday between the Ministry of Defence and the yard’s owners BVT. (Herald page 10)

 Sterling: Fears over the extent of the government’s public debt took its toll on the value of the pound yesterday, ending the currency’s upward drive against the US dollar. The pound had lost 0.8 per cent to $1.6421 against the dollar, lost 0.5 per cent to £0.8639 against the euro on Tuesday. (FT page 32, Herald page 25)

 SMEs: Scottish small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are said to be among the most positive in the UK about their future prospects. This is according to the latest quarterly survey of small business in Britain, conducted by the Open University business school with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Barclays Bank. (Press and Journal page 19)

 Transport 

Glasgow Airport Rail Link: The Scottish Government has said it is committed to the delivery of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link after fears were raised the project could collapse. (Herald page 2)

 Local Government

Funding crisis: The Scotsman claims half of a key flood-prevention scheme in Edinburgh will be put on hold because of a funding crisis. (Scotsman page 23)

 Education

Edinburgh University: Praise has been given to a long running scheme of the university, encouraging more pupils from state schools to pursue a career in key professions. A report highlighted Edinburgh University\’s strategy to widen access to courses such as law, medicine, veterinary medicine and architecture as one of the best in the UK. (Herald page 2)

 Health  

Swine flu: A teenage girl has become the youngest person in Scotland to die after contracting swine flu. The 15-year old, who had underlying health problems, had been admitted to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow a week ago. The World Health Organisation suggests that school closures could slow the spread of swine flu pandemic. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, page 4, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 8, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 1)

Politics

By-election: The Glasgow North-East by-election will now not be held until November at the earliest, after Labour rebuffed attempts by the SNP to force an August poll. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Times page 4, Courier page 7, Press and Journal page 1)