0131 524 9500 | info@reformscotland.com

REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 18 MAY 2010

Reform Scotland

\r\n

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 18 May 2010

\r\n

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. 

\r\n

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

\r\n

Politics

\r\n

Cuts Agenda: Two police chiefs have disclosed that senior Holyrood civil servants urged Scottish chief constables to hold off cuts in police numbers until after the general election when they could be blamed on the new Westminster Government. (Herald page 1) 

\r\n

New Peers : The UK Coalition Government has tried to play down claims that it plans to appoint almost 200 peers in the next six months to make the House of Lords more reflective of the general election results. (Scotsman page 7) 

\r\n

Labour Shadow Cabinet: Former Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced he will quit as a Labour front-bencher in order to concentrate on his constituency of Edinburgh South West. He has been on the front benches for 22 of the last 23 years and has been on the government front bench for the past 13 years. (Scotsman page 8, Times page 9, Daily Telegraph page 6, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 9, Press and Journal page 5) 

\r\n

Labour leadership: David Miliband has pledged as leader to “reform, repair and reconnect in opposition” and change from New Labour to Next Labour by looking forward and moving beyond Blair-Brown battles. Jon Cruddas announced he will not stand for the role of Labour leader. Ed Balls is still expected to announce his candidacy. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 8, Jon Cruddas in the Guardian page 26, Times page 20, Daily Telegraph page 23, Daily Record page 2, Press and Journal page 5 

\r\n

Coalition: The Institute for Government think tank has said that politically painful cuts and tax decisions should be made early before political momentum is lost. (Financial Times page 2) 

\r\n

Parliament Votes: David Davis has called the coalition proposal to require a 55 per cent majority to dissolve parliament before the fixed five-year term ends a “very serious mistake”. (Guardian page 9, Times page 10, Daily Telegraph page 5, Daily Mail page 2) 

\r\n

Scottish Conservatives: Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph suggests the Tories in Scotland need to address the power battles between Annabel Goldie, David Mundell and Andrew Fulton and then examine a two-strike policy whereby Tory MSPs would be forced to stand down after two terms. (Daily Telegraph page 9) 

\r\n

Economy

\r\n

Emergency Budget : The Emergency Budget to be released on 22 June will unveil £6billion of cuts with George Osborne’s promise that “key” but not “all” frontline services would be protected. Devolved budgets will be protected until next year but this has raised fears Scotland will be hit by a “double whammy” in 2011. George Osborne will reiterate the Tory campaign pledge of a three per cent cut in the headline rate of corporation tax but will hit investors with increased duty on capital gains. The Chancellor accused Labour of trying to “cook the books” with over-optimistic growth forecasts and David Laws revealed his predecessor Liam Byrne had left him a note stating “I’m afraid to tell you, there’s no money left”. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 6, Times page 1 and page 8, Daily Telegraph page 1 and page 6, Sun page 6, Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 8, Courier page 10, Press and Journal   

\r\n

Office for Budget Responsibility: George Osborne handed over Treasury responsibility for forecasting growth and public finances to the Office for Budget Responsibility to remove the temptation for Chancellors to ‘fiddle the figures’ for political ends. Terry Murden in the Scotsman argues handing over to an independent body is a means of distancing the government from the harsh cuts about to be made, but warns there is no guarantee that the forecasts by this independent body will be more reliable than those by the previous government. (Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 7, Times page 8, Daily Telegraph page 4) 

\r\n

Inflation: Inflation jumped in April to 3.7 per cent, sharply higher than expected, which comes following an increase in the price of women’s clothes, a surge in the price of food and drink and an increase in duties on alcohol and tobacco. The Bank of England governor Mervyn King has written a letter of explanation to George Osborne. (Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian) 

\r\n

Housing Market: Housing market activity saw an increase of 25 per cent in the number of mortgages advanced to people buying a property in March. A separate report by Lloyds TSB found house prices in Scotland had increased by 0.7 per cent in the last quarter. House prices in Glasgow are rising faster than anywhere in Scotland, up nearly 15 per cent in the last quarter. (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 2, Press and Journal) 

\r\n

Sterling Fall: The pound sterling fell to a 13-month low against the dollar after George Osborne’s announcement of the scale of UK public debt. (Herald page 26, Financial Times page 1) 

\r\n

Crime

\r\n

Asylum Detention Centres: There has been mounting anger after it was discovered that a girl of eight months was being held at Dungavel detention centre, despite Liberal Democrat claims that the practice of keeping children in asylum centres had ended. (Scotsman page 5) 

\r\n

Parenting Project:  A pilot scheme in Glasgow has been introduced to tackle public health issues and reduce knife crime and gang violence by acting early to stop behavioural problems developing. (Herald page 9) 

\r\n

Transport 

\r\n

BA Strike: The series of strikes by BA cabin crew due to start today will not go ahead due to a court decision that found Unite had failed to take all the necessary steps to ensure its ballot of members was legal. Unite is planning to appeal against the decision, calling it an “absolute disgrace”. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Guardian page 1, Times page 4, Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Record page 4, Daily Mail page 6, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1) 

\r\n

Volcanic Ash: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that aircrafts will be allowed to fly through higher-density ash clouds from today which will ease the restrictions on flying. All Scottish airports have re-opened and the Scottish Government has said that it is unlikely ash will cause further problems this week. According to a survey by Confused.com half of all travellers are considering a holiday in the UK rather than travelling abroad. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1 and page 5, Times page 4, Press and Journal page 11, Daily Mail page 1) 

\r\n

Motorway Construction: Finance Secretary John Swinney has insisted that the M74 extension into Glasgow, that is now running three years late and costing much more than expected, will be completed by next year. The average cost of the five mile extension is now more than £2,000 an inch. (Scotsman page 14, Courier page 3) 

\r\n

Health

\r\n

Full Breakfast:  New research has shown that eating a full, cooked breakfast can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Processed meats such as bacon and sausage have also previously been linked to bowel cancer. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 9) 

\r\n

C difficile: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has praised a Scottish hospital for its success in tackling infections after two of its patients died last year from C diff. (Scotsman page 4) 

\r\n

Smallpox: Scientists have found that ending a smallpox vaccination may have contributed to the spread of HIV/Aids due to the vaccine’s ability to curb the Aids virus. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 9) 

\r\n

Depression: A survey by the mental health charity Mind has shown that one in ten workers have seen their GP due to pressures of the recession, with 7 per cent prescribed anti-depressants. (Scotsman page 17)