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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 23 June 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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Economy

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Budget: George Osborne unveiled the coalition’s first budget yesterday which included £113bn of tax rises and spending cuts to 2014-15. Key measures include an increase in VAT to 20% from January, two-year pay freeze for public sector workers earning over £21,000, and increase in the personal allowance to £7,475 and a balance-sheet-levy on the banks. (Scotsman page 1, page 3, page 6, Martyn McLaughlin in the Scotsman, David Bell in the Scotsman, , Brian Monteith in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Michael Kelly in the Scotsman.  Herald page 1, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Telegraph page 1, Jeremy Warner in the Telegraph, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Tracy Corrigan in the Telegraph, Courier page 1, Guardian page 1, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian, Vince Cable in the Guardian, P&J page 1, FT page 1, Matthew Engel in the FT, Nicholas Timmins in the FT, Martin Wolf in the FT, Leon Brittan in the FT, Philip Stephens in the FT. Daily Express page 1, page 15, The Sun page 1, The Daily Mirror page 3. A number of the papers also have additional coverage of the budget in special supplements.)

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Impact on Scotland: SNP ministers have warned that the spending cuts introduced by Osborne could force Scotland into a “spiral of decline”. Experts at KPMG say that Scotland’s public sector could be facing cuts of £4.75 billion by 2014, a reduction of 16 percent. The increase of VAT to 20 per cent may cost the NHS in Scotland £26.5 million a year, and families up to £400 a year.(Daily Express page 5, Scottish Daily Mail page 1, The Times page 11, Scotsman page 8, John McTernan in the Scotsman, Herald page 2, Telegraph page 10, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Courier page 12, P&J page 10)

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Aegon: Dutch insurer Aegon, owner of the Scottish Equitable brand, announced yesterday that up to 600 jobs could be lost from its base in Edinburgh. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, Daily Express page 16)

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Scottish Water: Scottish Water cut leaks by almost 100 million litres a day and reported a surplus of more than £100m over the past year according to its annual report published yesterday. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 8)

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Transport 

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ScotRail: Nine out of ten passengers are satisfied with Scotland’s main train operator according to an official survey. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 7)

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Health

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Hospital bugs: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has said that health boards will have to reduce the rates of Clostridium difficile among over-65s by 50% by the end of March 2011. (Scotsman page 21, Herald page 8, P&J page 9)

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Education

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Glasgow University: University staff have voted in favour of industrial action over plans top cut 80 posts at Glasgow University. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 5)

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Politics

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Andy Burnham: Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has called for more political, cultural and media power to be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as the English regions. (Herald page 4)

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