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Daily Political Media Summary: 30 April 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 30 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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In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.

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General Election

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Leaders Debate: Polls after the third and final leader debate last night showed Conservative leader David Cameron as the winner. The three party leaders primarily debated the economy, in the most heated exchange so far. Gordon Brown came last in most polls, failing to boost Labour’s ratings after his ‘bigot’ gaffe on Wednesday and despite his extensive knowledge and experience of the economy. David Cameron mounted an aggressive attack on Gordon Brown calling his argument “desperate stuff” after Brown continued to argue that the Tories were a risk to the economic recovery. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Financial Times page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mail page 8, Daily Mirror page 4, Daily Express page 4) 

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Alex Salmond: SNP leader Alex Salmond claimed the public were given a “window into the character” of Gordon Brown after the Prime Minister’s bigot gaffe on Wednesday. He predicted Labour would be unable to recover and were “holed below the water” (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 8)  

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Twitter Leak: Labour’s new media tsar Kerry McCarthy could face six months in prison or a £5,000 fine after she tweeted a sample of postal votes received in her constituency of Bristol East. (Scotsman page 9, Daily Telegraph page 7, Press and Journal page 15 

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Economy

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Income Tax Rise: The National Institute for Economic and Social Research has warned that whichever party wins the General Election, they will be forced to raise the basic rate of income tax by 6 per cent over the coming decade to tackle the £160 billion-a-year deficit. (Scotsman page 8, Daily Telegraph page B1, Times page 45, Guardian page 30, Daily Mail) 

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House Prices: The annual rate of UK house price increases rose to double figures for the first time in almost three years, with the average cost of a UK home now 10.5 per cent higher than it was a year ago. Nationwide did not produce Scottish figures, but its latest quarterly report showed Scottish house prices were static between January and March. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 13, Daily Telegraph page 14, Times page 7, Guardian page 14, Financial Times page 4, Daily Record page 6, Daily Mail page 3) 

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Resource Squeeze: Andrew Goudie, the Scottish Government chief economic adviser, has warned that by 2015 the Holyrood budget could be as much as £4 billion a year lower than it was in last year’s peak. (Financial Times page 2) 

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Transport

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Volcano Costs: BAA announced that flight disruption caused by Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud cost Scotland’s three main airports £3.5 million. (Scotsman page 22, Press and Journal page 5) 

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Health

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SAD: Scottish scientists have discovered two “body-clock” genes that reveal how seasonal changes in hormones are controlled. The findings could lead to new ways to tackle seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which affects seven per cent of people in Scotland. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 11) 

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Multiple Sclerosis: New research shows babies born at the start of the summer are at a greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis in later life, due to lower levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy. Scotland has the highest prevalence of the condition in the world and it is thought that a lack of sunshine may contribute to the high rates. (Herald page 11) 

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Education

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Teacher Strikes: Scottish teachers could be set to strike for the first time in 24 years in reaction to budget cuts, with the Glasgow branch of Scotland’s largest teachers union proposing the motion for its June conference. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 4, Times Daily Record page 10, Daily Express page 10) 

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Politics

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Child Poverty: A Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) report shows one in five children in Scotland are still living in extreme poverty. While the figure has fallen over the past four years, it is not yet enough to meet the UK Government pledge to end child poverty by 2020. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 2, Press and Journal page 13) 

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Alcohol Pricing: Opposition parties are increasing pressure on the Scottish government to reveal the minimum price for alcohol in an upcoming policy, arguing if the price is too low the policy will be ineffective, and if too high it could do massive damage to Scotland’s drink industry. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 8) 

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Voting Reform: MSPs have voted 54-41 in favour of reforming the first-past-the-post UK election system to proportional representation. (Scotsman page 2)