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Daily Political Media Summary: 15 April 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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General Election

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Lib Dem manifesto: The Liberal Democrats unveiled their UK manifesto yesterday.  Key policies included £15 billion in spending cuts with Nick Clegg saying his party was the only one prepared to address the grim realities of the UK’s poor financial state.  Other pledges included raising the income tax threshold to £10,000. (Scotsman page 6, Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Sun page 6, Mirror page 4, Express page 5, Times page 10, Mail page 8, Guardian page 12, FT page 3, P&J page 1, Courier page 13, Telegraph page 8, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph)

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TV debate: News and commentary ahead of tonight’s first Prime Ministerial TV debate.  A ComRes poll published by ITV and the Independent suggests six out of ten people intend to watch the debate. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Michael Settle in the Herald, Sun page 6, Mirror page 1, Express page 4, Times page 1, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, John Ryley in the Times, Mail page 6, Guardian page 1, Timothy Garton Ash in the Guardian, FT page 2, P&J page 12, Courier page 13, Telegraph page 1, Philip Johnston in the Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph )

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Business opinion: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments that Labour should ignore the support business leaders are giving to the Conservative policy of scrapping the National Insurance rise.

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Global economists for Labour: More than 50 economists from around the world have signed a letter backing Gordon Brown’s economic plans. (Telegraph page 1)

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Tory big society: Seumas Milne in the Guardian says that the reality of the Conservative big society will be corporate control of schools and the break-up of the welfare state.

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Manifesto commitments: The FT argues that the three main UK parties have a £30bn hole in their policy commitments which would need to be plugged by spending cuts or tax rises (FT page 1)

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Marginal seats: An opinion poll carried out for the Daily Telegraph in 100 marginal seats, 80 held by Labour and 20 by the Lib Dems, has the Conservatives on 43%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 20%. (Telegraph page 1)

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Economy

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Scottish Futures Trust: Business leaders are today expected to call for the Scottish Futures Trust to expand rapidly and help the construction industry. (Scotsman Business 1, Mail page 6)

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Dundee waterfront: John Swinney has announced that £3.8m of government money has been earmarked to accelerate plans to regenerate the waterfront in Dundee and create a new college campus in the city. (P&J page 1, Courier page 1)

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Crime

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Prison drug use: Almost three out of every ten prisoners released in Scotland test positive for illegal drugs. (Express page 2)

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Local government

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Glasgow council: Councillor Ruth Black, a key ally of Steven Purcell, has been questioned by police as part of an ongoing corruption investigation. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 3, Sun page 1, Express page 7, Record page 21, Mail page 1)

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Waste: A report by Zero Waste Scotland shows that two-thirds of newspapers and magazines are now recycled, but the average household still throws away the equivalent of 40 stone of recyclable material each year. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 4, Courier page 9)

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Council tax freeze: A £70million package to fund a freeze in council tax in Scotland for the third year running was agreed by the Scottish Parliament yesterday. (Record page 2, Courier page 9)

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Transport

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Volcanic ash: All flights to and from Scotland have been cancelled as a result of volcanic ash drifting across the United Kingdom from Iceland. (BBC, Scotsman page 14)

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Education

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Teachers moving to Scotland: The number of teachers moving to Scotland has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 2006. (Herald page 1)

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Politics

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Legal aid: Jim Devine, one of the MPs facing charges over his expenses, has defended his right to receive legal aid because as Parliament was dissolved on Monday and he has been barred by Labour from standing again, he is now unemployed. (Sun page 2)