REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 16 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 16 July 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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Fiscal powers: Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett argues that the fiscal crisis strengthens the case for more tax powers for the Scottish Parliament (Scotsman page 30).

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Geoff Mawdsley, director of Reform Scotland, argues that greater fiscal autonomy is required to end the anti-reform culture and reliance on public spending which exists in Scotland (Scotsman page 32).

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AV referendum: Nick Clegg told the Scottish Affairs Committee that he cannot understand the argument that people will be confused about having to vote in the AV referendum on the same day as other elections (Times page 12, Herald page 6, Scotsman page 5).

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Budget cuts: The Finance Secretary John Swinney has asked the Treasury for early information on cuts to the Scottish budget. He says he needs the information as soon as possible in order to prepare his spending plans (Herald page 6).

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Justice

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Child abuse investigations: A sheriff’s criticism of the methods used by police and social workers to interview a young girl has raised questions about the handling of child abuse investigations in Scotland. The sheriff found that a senior social worker and police officers attempted to coerce a five-year-old girl into repeating allegations that she had been sexually abused (Scotsman page 1).

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Health

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 Baby deaths: A study has found that babies who are born outside normal working hours are more likely to die than those born between 9am and 5pm on a weekday (Scotsman page 2, Times page 17, Herald page 7).

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Education

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University funding: Opposition parties have called for a review of university funding in Scotland, which they say is more pressing in light of Vince Cable’s speech yesterday in which he proposed a graduate tax for students in England (Herald page 6). The Herald also cites Reform Scotland’s recent study, Power to Learn (Herald page 16). Simon Jenkins argues that that students should pay for their studies and that government should only subsidise the least well off (Guardian page 31).

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Area boards: The Association of Headteachers and Deputies in Scotland has backed a proposal to take education out of the control of councils and place it in the hands of a smaller number of regional boards (TESS page 1).