0131 524 9500 | info@reformscotland.com

Daily Political Media Summary: 10 August 2009

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 10 August 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

Scottish Economic Growth: The Scottish economy recorded growth in July for the first time since March last year, the latest Purchasing Managers\’ Index report reveals today, bringing to an end the longest and deepest period of contraction in this survey\’s 11-and-a-half-year history. (Herald page 26)

Barrhead Travel: Glasgow’s Barrhead Travel, the UK\’s leading independent travel agent, is set to expand its high street operations after celebrating record business in its stores in the past few weeks. A move to open new branches in Aberdeen and Inverness this autumn contrasts with cutbacks at the bigger international operators, such as TUI Travel and Thomas Cook, and the failure of tour operators XL Leisure and ScotTravel. (Sunday Herald page 49)

Textile Industry: The head of Scottish Textiles has launched an attack on the SNP administration, accusing ministers of "dissembling" over the extent of their support for the recession-hit industry. The criticism from the umbrella organisation comes as new data shows Scottish Government support for textiles, one of Scotland\’s flagship industries, has been cut by 13% since the SNP came to power. (Sunday Herald page 52)

Sainsbury’s Expansion: Sainsbury\’s is to create 1,300 jobs in Scotland as part of an aggressive expansion. The UK\’s third-largest grocery chain, which has a 6 per cent market share in Scotland, says the jobs will come from store expansions and new openings in Strathaven, Lanarkshire, and Prestwick in Ayrshire. (Scotland on Sunday page 1, Sunday Times page 2, Herald page 5, Scotsman page 8, Daily Mirror page 15, STV)

Applus RTD: The Aberdeen-based business of Applus RTD, a leading global supplier of inspection and integrity management services to the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, yesterday said it had struck a £7.5m contract with Maersk, the Danish conglomerate. (Herald page 23)

Edinburgh: The capital is outperforming rival UK cities during the recession on several key economic indicators, in spite of the crisis that has engulfed its biggest financial employers, Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS. (Financial Times page 3)

Transport

Forth Road Bridge: A billion-pound package to help build a new Forth Road Bridge remains on the table, the Treasury has insisted, but the Scottish Government has dismissed the offer as “a red herring” (Sunday Herald page 4, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 11, Press and Journal page 7, Courier page 9, Daily Telegraph page 2, STV, BBC)

Local Government

Glasgow Housing Association: A troubled housing body is to pay consultants at least £1250 a day to review its performance as a landlord. Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) could end up paying Financial Information Company Ltd up to £75,000 for a month\’s work, an insider said. (Sunday Herald page 12)

Green Housing: The Scottish Government has clashed with Labour over suggestions that a new green housing initiative has favoured homes in SNP strongholds. About three-quarters of the 96,011 homes earmarked for an energy-saving scheme launched by the Scottish Government at the end of last month are within SNP-held Holyrood constituencies. (Scotsman page 8)

Health

Swine Flu: A 26 year-old man yesterday became the fifth person to die in Scotland after contracting the swine flu virus. The man, who died in the early hours of the morning in Glasgow\’s Victoria Infirmary, had significant underlying health problems. Elsewhere, it is reported that Scottish children could be among the first in Europe to be vaccinated against swine flu. The mass immunisation plan is expected to begin “within weeks”. (Scotland on Sunday page 5, Sunday Post page 4, Press and Journal page 9, Daily Mail page 4, STV, BBC)

Education

Advanced Highers: Advanced higher courses have defied predictions with a record number of entries in 2009. The figures, which show a surge of interest in maths and the sciences, are a surprise boost to education leaders. Many predicted cutbacks would force schools to abandon them because of the small classes involved. (TESS)

Student Support: The Scottish Government today faced calls for reform of further education funding after new figures showed students were becoming more dependent on commercial loans to see them through university. (Press and Journal, page 9, Scotsman page 14, Courier page 11, STV, BBC)

Politics

Expenses Review: The First Minister wants a Holyrood review of expenses to consider whether MSPs should pay back any profits made when they sell their second homes. Alex Salmond believes there is a case for a claw-back scheme where part of an MSP\’s capital gain is handed to the taxpayer. (Sunday Herald page 1, Herald page 6)

Postal Strike: Scottish postal workers joined national strike action yesterday in a bitter row over pay, jobs and services. The Communication Workers Union said its members in Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Bo\’ness, Bathgate and Irvine followed employees in England. (Scotland on Sunday page 3, Sunday Times page 2, Herald page 4, Scotsman page 8, STV, BBC)

Calman Commission: The Calman Commission\’s proposals to give Holyrood more powers over income tax are fundamentally flawed and likely to place the Scottish Government in "an unsupportable position", according to a study by independent economists. (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 1)