Daily Political Media Summary: 19 January 2010


Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 19 January 2010

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.



Banking tax: Lord Myners, the City Minister, yesterday revived the prospect of a banking tax similar to that levied by President Obama in America. (Scotsman page 2)


Beauly-Denny power line: According to an energy company insider neither Scottish Power nor Scottish & Southern Energy, who are responsible for the proposed 137-mile power line, have any intention of burying any sections of the cable. (Scotsman page 1)


Globespan: E-Clear, the credit card handling company who owed Globespan £35 million before the airline failed, spent almost half that amount purchasing a German bank. (Times page 1)


Scots subsidise UK:  A report produced by the Scottish Government claims that Scotland is not economically dependent on the rest of the UK, rather it subsidises the UK by billions of pounds each year. (Scotsman page 8)


Scottish budget: Despite demands from opposition parties, the vote in principle on the Scottish budget tomorrow looks likely to pass. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 8)



Crime poster: Strathclyde Police have created a poster bearing the names and faces of some of Scotland’s worst criminals as part of a new publicity drive to name and shame criminals. (Herald page 1)


Knifes: The number of people caught carrying knifes has fallen. (Herald page 6, Daily Record page 4, Courier page 7)


Prisons: A quarter of criminals released from Scottish prisons on the Home Detention Curfew scheme re-offended and were sent back to prison last year (Daily Mail page 4)


Open estates: Critics have pointed to the government’s failure in implementing recommendations regarding Scotland’s open prisons in allowing the escape of a violent offender from an open estate prison six days ago (Courier page 1)


Local Government

Trump: Opponents of Donald Trump’s golf development have condemned Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Committee’s decision to discuss in private the proposal to sell half an acre of land to Donald Trump. (Scotsman page 16, Press and Journal page 1)


Close schools: Headteachers in Edinburgh have said that some schools should close rather than force every primary and secondary to make a 2.5% budget cut. (Scotsman page 20)



Arthritis: Arthritis sufferers in Scotland will be able to benefit from a powerful new drug, Tocilizumab after it was given approval by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, despite being provisionally judged too expensive by its English equivalent, the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence. (Scotsman page 26, Press and Journal page 1, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 9, Daily Mail page 31)


Caffeine: Thousands of Scots are overdosing on caffeine, according to a study by the Scottish Poisons Information Bureau, with many being admitted to hospital for the problem. (Herald page 1)


Alcohol: Brian Currie in the Herald and Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comment on the use of alcohol in Scotland and the current debate on minimum pricing.


Hospitals: Hospitals in Scotland have wasted £6 million in food over the past two years.  (Daily Express page 9, Press and Journal page 6)


C-Diff: Inspectors have criticised NHS Orkney’s Balfour Hospital’s cleanliness in an investigation after two patients died of a C-Diff superbug infection last year.  (Daily Record page 2)



Public spending: Alistair Darling will order ministers this week to start work on a public spending review that could see real terms cuts of 16% for all departments outside of foreign aid, police, education, and health. (FT page 1)


Marriage tax breaks: Polly Toynbee writes in the Guardian that David Cameron’s plan for marriage tax breaks is unjust.  Additionally, it was revealed that the Conservatives will retreat on their plan and will instead put forth a policy of breaks that will likely only apply to married couples with children. (Times page 17)


Labour: It has been estimated that Labour needs to raise £10 million in order to give itself a chance of victory in the upcoming general election (Guardian page 2)


Alex Salmond: News that First Minister Alex Salmond will be taking a fact-finding trip to the Maldives as he travels to India to see the Commonwealth Games has been characterised as grandstanding and a waste of taxpayer money by opposition parties. (Sun page 7)


Book festival: Scottish government has earmarked £10,000 in order to promote Scotland at an Indian book festival (Daily Express page 2)


Independence referendum: The Scottish government may delay publishing their Referendum Bill on independence over questions of timing.  (Times page 21)


Angus Macleod writes in The Times that Alex Salmond’s wavering stance on setting a date for publishing his independence referendum actually turns the screws on Labour and the Lib Dems.  These parties have not been totally opposed to the idea of holding a referendum, only saying now is not the right time.


Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.


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