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Daily Political Media Summary: 13 April 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 13 April 2010

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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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General Election

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Labour manifesto: Labour unveiled manifestos north and south of the border yesterday. The party’s Scottish manifesto included a number of pledges on devolved issues, which commentators suggest is the beginning of the campaign for the Holyrood elections in 2011.  Key pledges across the UK included a promise to link the minimum wage to average earnings and no increase on income tax, though Gordon Brown would not rule out an increase in VAT. (Scotsman page 6, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, P&J page 8, Courier page 9, Telegraph page 4, Times page 6, Guardian page 1, Marina Hyde in The Guardian, Simon Hoggart in The Guardian, FT page 3, Record page 6, Mail page 6)

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Conservative manifesto: David Cameron is expected to unveil the Conservative Party’s manifesto today which will include plans to change the current benefits system, help communities buy out their local post offices and allow voters to sack their MPs.  The manifesto is also expected to confirm that the party will delay introducing reforms recommended by the Calman Commission until the end of the parliament. (Scotsman page 5, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, FT page 2)

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Liberal Democrats: Loss-making banks would not be able to offer discretionary bonuses under plans revealed by Nick Clegg yesterday.  (P&J page 8)

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The Liberal Democrat leader also said yesterday that his party would not back a Tory emergency Budget with “swingeing” spending cuts but did not rule out forming a coalition with the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament.  (P&J page 9)

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Cuts to Scottish budget: Alex Salmond has been accused of scaremongering after claiming that £30 billion would be cut from Scottish expenditure over the next 15 years by a Labour or a Conservative government. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, P&J page 9, Courier page 9, Telegraph page 5, Times page 10, Mail page 2, Express page 5)

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Petrol prices: Speaking at the Tory target seat of Perth and North Perthshire, Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie hit out at Labour over rising fuel costs and the impact of rates on rural filling stations.  (P&J page 9, Courier page 9)

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Candidate withdrawal: David Murray, Liberal Democrat candidate for The Wrekin in Shropshire, has decided to step down after facing criminal allegations.  Police refused to comment on the nature of their allegations against Mr Murray, though Nick Clegg said they were “serious”.  (P&J page 9)

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Economy

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Job losses: 232 members of staff at the BASF pigment plant in Renfrewshire are to be made redundant. (Scotsman page 2)

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Crime

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Mephedrone: From Friday 16 April the drug mephendrone will become a class B illegal drug. (Scotsman page 2, Hugh McLachlan in The Scotsman)

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Pilot scheme: A pilot programme will see female prisoners near the end of their sentences live in open conditions close to their communities in a bid to reduce the number of re-offenders.  (P&J page 6)

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Transport

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Air passengers:  The number of passengers using Scotland’s three main airports was cut by nearly 30,000 last month due to the BA cabin crew strikes. (Scotsman page 14)

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Rail strike: ScotRail has said that through some passengers were forced to use buses to complete their journeys due to the RMT union strike, it has been able to run 95% of its services overall.  The strike is due to end tomorrow.  (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 4, P&J page 7, Courier page 3)

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SPT: A £290 million plan for the modernisation of the Glasgow Underground will include driverless trains, more frequent trains, extended operating hours, and upgraded stations.  (Herald page 1)

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Education

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Teachers’ maternity leave: Planned changes to maternity leave following recent rulings in the European court and House of Lords could force employers to pay new mothers their full holiday entitlement, which for teachers would mean more than 60 days. (Scotsman page 13)

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Politics

\r\nExpenses scandal: The three Labour MPs accused of fiddling their expenses have been awarded legal aid to fund their defence.  The story impacted on the election campaign yesterday as David Cameron said that a Conservative government would review legal aid.  The Conservative peer who has also been charged did not apply for legal aid. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 1, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 10, Record page 2, Mail page 4, Express page 1, Mirror page 4, Sun page 2)