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Daily Political Media Summary: 2 February 2010

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Media Summary: 2 February 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.

Economy

Recession: The Labour Work and Pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper, has warned that unemployment is likely to rise again this summer and the country should prepare for significant cuts to try to improve public finances. (Daily Telegraph page 8)

Banking: Peter Jones in The Times praises Scotland’s “big three” fund managers, Aberdeen, SLI and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP), as  giving hope that Scotland’s financial industry can emerge in better shape than expected. (Times page 13) Its first edition of Business Insight, a new publication, begins with an article on Jim Lindsay, general manager of Airdrie Savings Bank. (page 2) Ben Thomson argues that the best way to reform banks is not through more regulation, but to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions and operate in an ethical way and to look at the creation of ‘narrow’ banks. (page 8)

RBS: RBS bosses have decided to press ahead with plans that allow top performers to collect large cash bonuses, despite public and political outcry. (Daily Telegraph page B1)

Local Government

Contract-out Care: There have been calls for an Edinburgh council member to step down as it emerged that plans by the city council to tender care and support services for nearly 800 disabled people will be dropped. (Herald page 20)

Health

C Diff Inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon has said that no-one will be “on trial” when the public inquiry into the deaths of 18 people from Clostridium difficile at the Vale of Leven hospital begins in June. (Scotsman page 15, Press and Journal page 9, BBC, STV)

Transport

Glasgow Air Link: Glasgow Airport managing director Amanda McMillan has written to all MSPs outlining her concerns at the decision to scrap the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL). (Scotsman page 6)

Forth Crossing: Major landowners and businesses, including the Earl of Rosebery, Network Rail and Deep Sea World, are among 88 objections lodged about the proposed new Forth crossing. A third round of detailed investigations on the site of the Forth crossing will start later this month. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 5, BBC)

Politics

Nigel Griffiths: Further coverage of Edinburgh South MP Nigel Griffiths and his decision to stand down at the General Election including comments on the £60,000 resettlement grant he will receive. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 4, Times page 13, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 3, BBC, Caledonian Mercury)

Barnett Formula: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments that changing the Barnett Formula that allocates money to Scotland could cause problems elsewhere in the UK.

Papal Row: Pope Benedict has spoken out against UK legislation designed to protect against discrimination. The Pope said that some laws imposed “unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs”. The comments are assumed to be attached to recently enacted Sexual Orientation Regulations that forced Catholic adoption agencies to consider gay parents as adoptive parents. The Pope is also said to be concerned with the Equality Bill which could force religious groups to hire homosexuals. (Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 6, Guardian page 3, BBC, STV)

Expenses: Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of signing off on hundreds of pounds of improper expenses claims made by her spin doctor. Her special advisor, Noel Dolan, reportedly charged the public £285 for a four-night stay at a hotel and cab fares to and from a political party conference. He has since paid back the money to the Scottish Parliament. (Herald page 6)

General Election: The SNP has said that the Tories will significantly cut Scotland’s budget should they come into power. (Press and Journal page 5)

TV News: Less than half of Scottish viewers said they are fairly satisfied or very satisfied with the way Scottish news is reported in UK news programmes. (Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 9)

Calman Commission: Angus Macleod writes in the Times that David Cameron’s unenthusiastic reaction towards the Calman Commission recommendations may bind the hands of his party in Scotland.