Daily Political Media Summary: 16 March 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.
Labour market: A Bank of England report has warned of “considerable uncertainty” in the Labour market. (Scotsman page 6)
Spending cuts: The European Commission is reportedly not satisfied with Alistair Darling’s current plans to cut Britain’s deficit saying it ‘lacks ambition’. (Telegraph page 2, Times page 3, Guardian page 1, Mail page 2)
Graham Leicester in the Scotsman comments that Scotland is ill-prepared to deal with radical spending cuts.
SPL jobs plan: The twelve clubs in the Scottish Premier League are set to partner with the Government’s Future Jobs Fund to create 36 jobs each in a plan to employ 400 people across Scotland. (Herald page 6, Courier page 10)
Renewable energy pledge: Energy Minister Lord Hunt has said he is committed to developing a new UK energy policy that recognises the importance of wave and tidal power. (P&J page 7)
Winter weather impact: This winter’s ‘Big Freeze’ has left Scottish small and medium-sized businesses facing losses of £716 million. (Telegraph page 1)
Knife crime: Convictions for knife crime are at a ten year high across three police force areas in Scotland with Lothian and Borders seeing a 21% increase between 2007/8 and 2008/9. (Scotsman page 5)
Edinburgh trams: Tram developer TIE has set a new deadline of June 2012 for the completion of Edinburgh’s trams after which TIE plans to impose penalties on the construction consortium led by Bilfinger Berger of £1m for each month the project runs over. (Scotsman page 1)
BA: The Prime Minister has started a row with the Unite union, Labour’s biggest financial backer, after he condemned plans by British Airways cabin crew to go on strike. (Scotsman page 11, Courier page 3, P&J page 1, Telegraph page 4, Times page 8, Guardian page 6, Express page 10, Mirror page 6, Sun page 2)
90% of Scottish BA flights will be cancelled if the cabin crew strike goes ahead. It is reported that just 10 out of 108 flights between Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and London Heathrow will remain unaffected. (Herald page 2)
ScotRail strike: Alan Cochrane argues in the Telegraph that Gordon Brown’s criticism of Unite over the BA strikes should compel Iain Gray and Alex Salmond to similarly criticise the RMT union’s planned Easter weekend ScotRail strikes.
Council funding: Scottish Government is contemplating ending the system of trade-offs between local authorities and builders over concerns the deals are abused. (Herald page 1)
Grit supplies: Local authorities are planning to work together in order to buy £35 million worth of grit, enough for four winters. (P&J page 8)
Cancer treatments: The Rarer Cancers Forum has found that a higher proportion of applications by Scottish patients to receive certain cancer treatments are approved compared to those in England. (P&J page 9)
Ashok Kumar MP: Police are investigating the “sudden accidental death” of Labour MP Ashok Kumar. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6, Courier page 14, P&J page 11, Guardian page 9)
Coal-fired power station: Labour has joined opposition to Ayrshire Power’s proposals to build a £3 billion new coal-fired power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire. (Scotsman page 22, Courier page 8, P&J page 11)
Coalition politics: Allan Massie in the Scotsman argues that the idea that coalitions cannot work is an English delusion.
Scottish Labour election strategy: Scottish Labour will not fight the general election on health and education guarantees as in the rest of the UK, but will instead focus on knife crime pledges. (Times page 1)
Selection row: The Labour constituency chairman in Airdrie and Shotts has resigned over the party’s choice of 25-year old Pamela Nash to succeed former cabinet member John Reid at the next election. The selection of Ms Nash, Dr Reid’s parliamentary researcher, has divided the local party with some saying she is too inexperienced. (Herald page 6)
Affordable housing cut: Scottish Labour’s housing spokeswoman Johann Lamont claimed yesterday that Scotland’s affordable housing budget is set to face a £140 million cut. The SNP say money was taken out of the budget to boost development in the recession. (Courier page 9, P&J page 11)