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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 9 JUNE 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 9 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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Politics

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Scottish Budget: Scotland is to get an additional £182 million in funding from the UK Government, known as the ‘fossil fuel levy’. However, David Cameron has urged the leaders of devolved governments to begin planning their spending cuts for budgets next year. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 3, Press and Journal page 1) 

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Spending Cuts:  Chancellor George Osborne said yesterday that benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions have been earmarked for cuts and that the public should tell the government where to cut public spending. Opponents have branded the Government’s idea ‘The Axe Factor’. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 1, Financial Times page 1, Guardian page 1)  

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 Deepwater Drilling: Despite the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, UK Energy minister, Charles Hendry, has said plans to open new deepwater drilling operations off Shetland will continue. (Scotsman page 6, Press and Journal page 11) 

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Resettlement Grants: Over £10 million has been awarded to the MPs who lost their seats or quit their jobs in the last election. Resettlement grants were claimed by 14 Scottish MPs and have been slammed by trade unions and anti-sleaze campaigners. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, Daily telegraph page 10, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 3, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 4) 

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Right-to-Buy:  A Holyrood committee has backed Scottish Government plans to end right-to-buy for new tenants and new-build council homes to increase the numbers of houses available to rent. (Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 13) 

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Fiscal Powers:  Oil industry leaders, Oil & Gas UK, have warned that administrative costs would rise if separate tax systems were adopted in Scotland and England and that it prefers the current system where oil taxes are paid to the Treasury. There is further comment on the debate over Scottish fiscal powers by Peter Jones in the Scotsman and Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph (Daily Telegraph page 1) 

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Labour Leadership:  John McDonnell has withdrawn from the Labour leadership contest in favour of left-winger Diane Abbot. (Guardian) 

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Economy

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Unemployment: Research by the GMB trade union claims Scotland has 175,200 unemployed workers and 650,600 people of working age who are economically inactive while job centres have posted 21,973 vacancies, a figure they claim to be half of the number of positions that need to be filled. (Scotsman page 5, Daily Express page 7, Daily Mail page 9)  

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Northern Rock:  Northern Rock has announced it will cut 650 jobs by the end of 2010 to prepare its return to the private sector. The effect on Scottish branches has not been revealed. (Scotsman page 2, Financial Times page 5, Guardian page 20) 

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Sterling:  The pound dropped to $1.4430 last night after the credit ratings agency Fitch warned about the forecasts for the UK deficit. (Herald page 23, Guardian page 5) 

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Transport

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Derailed Train:  The main road to Oban from central Scotland is expected to remain closed until next week in order to recover the train derailed on Sunday. (Scotsman page 9, Times page 17, Press and Journal page 8, Daily Mail page 12) 

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Air Travel:  Mintel market analysts have claimed that three million Britons have decided not to fly due to concerns that volcanic ash could disrupt their travel plans. (Scotsman page 16) 

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Edinburgh Trams:  Edinburgh Council are discussing the possibility of a public referendum on whether to ditch the tram project after the announcement that the deadline was extended even further into 2012 with additional costs expected. (Herald page 7) 

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Health

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Alcohol Pricing: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has called for cross-party support for minimum alcohol pricing ahead of a key Holyrood debate on the first stage of the Scottish Government’s alcohol bill. (Scotsman page 2, Daily Telegraph page 2, Daily Express page 31) 

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Diabetes Drug:  Thousands of diabetic patients could risk changes in their medication after a pharmaceutical giant announced plans to withdraw an insulin treatment from the UK, putting pressure on the NHS. (Herald page 1) 

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Teeth: Primary school children in Scotland have healthier teeth than ever before, meeting the government target of two thirds of 11-year-olds showing no signs of dental decay. (Scotsman page 8, herald page 9, Press and Journal page 7) 

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Chicken Pox: Scientists are developing a booster vaccine for people who have had chicken pox and are at risk of developing shingles. (Scotsman page 24, Herald page 9) 

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Life Expectancy: Men in Glasgow have the lowest life expectancy in the UK, which has prompted Labour to hit out at the Scottish Government poverty and health plans. (Herald page 10, Times page 15, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Express page 2) 

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Justice

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Drink-related crime:  Scottish prison research has shown that they number of women committing drink-related offences has risen to 45 per cent, just four points behind men.  77 per cent of all young offenders committed their offence under the influence of alcohol. (Herald page 5) 

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Prisoners’ Votes: The EU is pressuring the coalition government to give prisoners the right to vote in time for the 2011 Holyrood election. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 2, Press and Journal page 10) 

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Asylum Seekers:  The Scottish Government will back a scheme to provide guardians for children who arrive in the UK alone to seek asylum to help them navigate the social work system. (Herald page 10) 

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Phone Roaming: Four of Europe’s largest mobile phone network operators have lost their legal battle with the European Union over its uniform minimum roaming charge. (Scotsman page 7, Press and Journal page 12)  

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Local government

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Land Disputes: Alex Salmond is to intervene in a long-running dispute between his constituents in Gordon and the Greenbelt land management company over upkeep of communal areas. (Herald page 4) 

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Island Population:  The population of the Shetland island of Fetlar has risen by 45 per cent in the last year – the largest rise of anywhere in the UK. (Scotsman page 10, Times page 19) 

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Trump Resort: Councillors have approved a key planning document for Trump’s Menie estate development in a vote of nine to two. (Scotsman page 12, Press and Journal page 6)