REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 6 MAY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 6 May 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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Election Day: Britain goes to the polls today to vote for a new government in what is being called the most unpredictable election for a generation. A YouGov final eve-of-election poll showed the Conservatives on 35 with Labour and Lib Dems tied on 28 but surveys show as many as four out of ten voters are still undecided, fuelling the predictions of a hung parliament. The YouGov poll in Scotland has Labour on 37 per cent, Lib Dems 22 per cent, the SNP 21 per cent and Tories on 17 per cent. The Scotsman warns there “will be no winners” due to the record deficit and financial market turmoil the next government will inherit. Ian MacWhirter highlights the question of a democratic deficit if the Tories win the General Election but fail to hold or build upon their one seat in Scotland. The Times leads with a sombre comment on the responsibility of voters electing a government that will have to stop running away from the UK’s debt. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1 and page 13, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Times page 3-5, Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 1, Daily Record page 1, Sun page 1, Daily Express page 1, BBC) 

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Candidate crash: Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP has been involved in plane crash today whilst promoting his party. He was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. (Times, Guardian, Sun)                                                                                                                                   

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Economy

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EU Scrutiny: The European Commission said it expects the UK budget deficit to be 12 per cent of national income this year – the highest of any EU country. Any new administration will need to come up with a credible deficit reduction plan quickly in order to calm markets fearing a long period of indecision. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 4, Press and Journal page 16, Guardian page 29) 

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Tax revenue: Projections from the HM Revenue and Customs predict a jump of £10 million income tax revenue this year due to the number of people paying 40% and the new 50% rates. (Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 5) 

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Salaries: A study by the Incomes Data Service shows that salaries are failing to keep pace with the rising cost of living which hit 3.4 per cent in March due to the rising costs of petrol and high food prices. (Daily Telegraph page 1, Courier page 3)  

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Financial Markets: UK bonds reached a high as investors bet on the Conservatives to form a strong government. (Financial Times page 1) 

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Transport

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Volcanic Ash: Flights are expected to return to normal in Scotland today as the Civil Aviation Authority was criticised for the confusion around their vague statement grounding many flights in Scotland yesterday. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 2, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 9, Times page 19, Guardian page 4, Daily Record page 10, Daily Express page 7) 

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Roads: Council chiefs have warned that more than 2,000 miles of Scottish roads need immediate repair after the big freeze over the winter, requiring £167million just to prevent them getting worse. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 13) 

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Crime

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Violence: Research has shown that people living in the most deprived areas of Scotland are more than 30 times more likely to die a violent death than those from the richest backgrounds. Violence costs the Scottish economy around £3 billion a year in healthcare, law enforcement and lost productivity. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 4, Courier page 8, Sun page 8) 

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Education

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Exam Results: Experts are calling for a review of Scottish secondary education after the success of a pilot scheme in which students chose subjects and sat exams a year earlier than the national curriculum and then followed a programme of academic, life and work skills in extended upper school. This has increased the staying-on rate by almost fifty per cent in the pilot schemes since 2003. (Scotsman page 13) 

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Independent Schools Trusts: The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association has vowed to oppose any move to establish educational trusts that free schools from council control in Scotland. (Herald page 10) 

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Health

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Multiple Sclerosis:  A groundbreaking treatment in which MS patients are treated with bone marrow cells has been hailed a success. (Herald page 2) 

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Politics

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Pay Freeze: A pay freeze for public sector bosses, including NHS executives was announced yesterday, with Finance minister John Swinney arguing pay, especially for those at the top of the public sector, must be affordable and sustainable. (Scotsman page 9, Herald, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Express page 10) 

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Alcohol Pricing: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at “kamikaze” supermarket beer promotions ahead of the World Cup saying the government’s proposed minimum pricing could help put an end to such practices that harm people’s health. (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 4, Daily Telegraph page 2, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 7)