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Daily Political Media Summary: 21 January 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 21 January 2010

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant article is blue and underlined.

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Economy

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Recession & Unemployment: The latest figures show that unemployment in Scotland is growing while falling in the rest of the UK, leading to fears that Scotland could remain in recession once the UK as a whole has recovered. (Scotsman page 4, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 4, Sun page 2, Daily Express, Guardian page 2, Times page 47, Daily Telegraph page 2, Financial Times page 4, Daily Mail page 2, BBC)

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Jobs for Graduates: A Scottish Enterprise scheme, Graduates for Business, which had a high success rate of helping graduates find careers, has been scrapped. (Herald page 1)

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Public Sector Pay Cuts: John Swinney is to consider cutting the pay of high earners in the public sector in a bid to get his budget passed in the Scottish Parliament. (Scotsman page 2, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 4, Times page 3, Daily Telegraph page 8, Press and Journal page 8, Courier page 8, Daily Mail page 6, STV, BBC)

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Public Money for Cadbury: MPs are arguing the Prime Minister should have stopped the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 70 per cent owned by UK taxpayers, from offering a £360 million loan to Kraft to help its takeover bid of Cadbury that could lead to British job losses. (Daily Express page 1, Financial Times page 1, Daily Mail page 19) 

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E-Clear: E-Clear, the credit card company blamed for the collapse of Scottish holiday firm Globespan, itself collapsed today with debts estimated at £100 million, nearly three times the amount owed to Globespan. (Times page 5, Press and Journal page 11)

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Health

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Scottish Health Service: Nicola Sturgeon has said that research carried out by The Nuffield Trust, which said that Scotland’s NHS was less efficient than the rest of the UK, is flawed and that the data used was out of date. (Herald page 2, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Record page 4)

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Health Quango: NHS Health Scotland appears to have abandoned plans to spend £300,000 on public relations experts following pressure from Nicola Sturgeon. (Scotsman page 12)

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Thalidomide: Pressure is growing on the Scottish Government to offer compensation to thalidomide sufferers following a £20 million settlement from the Department of Health at Westminster. (Herald page 7)

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Education

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Teachers’ Pay: Scotland’s Councils are being forced to pay more than £10 million a year in holiday pay for teachers signed off on sick or maternity leave. This comes after rulings in the European Courts and House of Lords that holiday pay must be honoured. (Daily Mail page 2, Daily Record page 2)

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Catchment Areas: A judge has ruled that the Director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council acted unlawfully when he tried to remove hundreds of homes from the catchment areas of a top performing school. (Herald page 1, Andrew Denholm in the Herald, Scotsman page 16, Times page 26)

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Politics

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Conservative Mandate: In a speech yesterday, Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie appeared to concede that the Conservatives were unlikely to make any major breakthrough at the general election in Scotland, however she argued that this was not a prerequisite for a mandate to govern as the Westminster election was for the whole of the UK. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Courier page 6)

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Assisted Dying Bill:  Independent MSP, Margo MacDonald, will today introduce a bill aiming to give terminally ill people the right to die. The Lothian MSP\’s End Of Life Choices (Scotland) Bill would allow people whose lives become intolerable through a progressive degenerative condition, a trauma or terminal illness to seek a doctor\’s help in dying. (BBC, STV)

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Voting System: Gordon Brown has said that reforming the voting system could help repair trust in democracy following the expenses scandal. (Scotsman page 5, Times page 11)

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Holyrood’s Pigeons: A hawk has been hired to scare away pigeons from the Scottish Parliament. (Scotsman page 24, Daily Express page 6, Daily Mail page 6, Herald)