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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 11 January 2011

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 11 January 2011

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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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Calman Commission: The debate continues on the Scotland Bill, as Ian McLean writes today in the Scotsman.  The Scotland Bill Committee is set to meet today to continue the scrutiny of the bill, which aims to make the Scottish Parliament more fiscally responsible. (Scotsman page 32, Courier page 7)

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Economy

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China: The relationship between Scotland and China is set to improve the economy following a trade deal between the Grangemouth oil refinery and PetroChina, which will maintain thousands of jobs at the refinery. The arrival of two pandas at Edinburgh zoo will also boost the economy by increasing the numbers of tourists visiting the endangered animals. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 3 & 4, Sun page 2, Guardian page 10, Press & Journal page 10, Courier page 3, Express page 8, FT page 3, Telegraph page 4 &B3, Daily Mail page 11, Record page 3, Times page 14)

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Bank Bonuses: The SNP has said bankers should not receive bonuses at all this year. Bob Diamond, the Chief Executive of Barclays, will be cross-examined by the House of Commons treasury committee this morning. It is estimated that £7 billion could be paid out this year, but the UK Government has insisted it will have substantial influence over bonuses at RBS, 83% of which is owed by the taxpayer. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 8, Courier page 11, Express page 8, FT page 2, Telegraph page B1-2, Daily Mail page 12, Times page 5, Scotsman page 2)

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Employment law: Proposed changes to employment laws reducing employee protection could be detrimental to the economy, a leading law firm in Scotland has argued. Andrew Brown, of Anderson Strathern warned that the changes could make it more difficult to obtain mortgages and loans, because people will be unable to guarantee employment. PM David Cameron’s proposal would allow employers to sack underperforming employees any time up to two years into a post. (Scotsman page 10)

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Milk war: Scottish farmers say they are losing out to bigger companies and supermarkets in a price-war. The big four – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons – are reducing the cost of milk and therefore driving down the price across the board. This is having a negative effect on smaller companies which are unable to match the falling cost of the product and still make a profit. (Scotsman page 15, Press & Journal page 18)

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Justice

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Scottish Police Force: The deputy chief constable of Lothian and Borders, Stephen Allen, has spoken out in support of a single Scottish Police Force, saying it would be economically and functionally beneficial. (Scotsman page 8)

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Transport

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Road repairs: Thousands of repairs are being made to Scotland’s roads after freezing conditions caused widespread potholes, endangering road safety. Edinburgh City Council has said 1,200 potholes need ‘urgent repair work’, and they are responding to the issue as quickly and effectively as possible. Meanwhile, motorists are being urged to take extra care and be aware of continuing icy conditions. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 5, Express page 6)