Daily Political Media Summary: 25 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.

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Economy

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Budget 2010: Full coverage of Labour’s last budget before the general election in all the papers including breakdown of how many groups within society will be affected.  Highlights of the budget include scrapping stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £250,000 funded by an increase to 5 per cent on £1 million-plus homes, a 10% increase in cider duty and a freeze on personal allowances.  Borrowing this year should be £11billion lower than forecast though the budget deficit is expected to amount to more than half a trillion between 2010 and 2014.  Some commentators have said it is more a political budget than an economic one with the real detail likely to be revealed after the general election either by the Conservatives’ emergency budget or Labour’s spending review. (Scotsman page 1, page 6, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, page 2, James Cusick in the Herald, Ian Bell in the Herald, Michael Settle in the Herald, Sun page 1, Guardian page 1, page 4, Polly Toynebee in the Guardian, Seumas Milne in the Guardian, Will Hutton in the Guardian, Express page 1, Kerry Gill in the Express, Patrick O’Flynn in the Express, Mirror page 1, Kevin Maguire in the Mirror, Times page 1, James Purnell in the Times, Peter Jones in the Times, Matthew Parris in the Times, Richard Lambert in the Times, Mail page 1, page 4, James Slack in the Mail, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Peter Oborne in the Mail, Record page 1, Torcuil Crichton in the Record, Courier page 1, P&J page 1 and page 12, Telegraph page 1, Edmund Conway in the Telegraph, George Osborne in the Telegraph, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph, FT – Budget 2010 special)

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Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy has said that the budget will create 156,000 jobs for Scotland through the proposal to set up a £2billion Green Investment Bank to fund renewable energy projects and the transfer of civil service posts north of the border.  The Scottish budget will also increase by an additional £82 million.  However, the SNP has claimed that Scotland could lose 4,000 jobs. (Scotsman page 8, Mail page 11, Record page 6, Courier page 10, Telegraph page 11)

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Crime

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Legal reform: Around £500 million could be lost to the Scottish economy if opponents succeed in stopping legal reform which would allow banks and supermarkets to offer a full range of solicitors’ services. (Herald page 10)

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Education

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University funding: Scottish universities have been fined nearly £1 million for over recruiting students during the recession. (Herald Page 7, Times page 13, Mail page 4, Telegraph page 12)

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Health

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Hospital food: The first review of Scottish hospital food was published yesterday which said that hospitals were still failing to meet key standards to improve food. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 8, Record page 2, Courier page 11, P&J page 6)

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Elderly care: The public health minister Shona Robison warned yesterday that Scotland’s bill for providing care of the elderly could reach £8 billion in two decades unless changes are made to the system. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Express page 10, Times page 13, Record page 2, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 12)

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Alcohol problems in children: A growing number of children as young as 10 are being admitted to A&E wards in Scotland after drinking too much alcohol. (Express page 16, Courier page 3, P&J page 4)

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Politics

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Hiring family members: MSPs voted last night to end the practice of hiring close family relations at Holyrood, though politicians have five years before having to get rid of any relations they currently employ. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Express page 10, Courier page 8)

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Strike action: Thousands of Scottish public sector workers went on strike yesterday as part of an ongoing row over redundancy pay. (Herald page 6, Express page 25, Record page 2)