Reform Scotland News: 31 August


All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is highlighted and underlined.


In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News.



Edinburgh trams: The Scottish Government has threatened to withhold its funding for Edinburgh’s troubled tram project after councillors decided to cut the route short at Haymarket.  The decision would leave a £72 million shortfall in the project’s funding.  Councillors immediately postponed work on Princes Street, which was due to begin on Monday.  Edinburgh’s transport leader, Gordon Mackenzie, welcomed the move, saying it showed the Scottish Government supported running the trams to St Andrew Square. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Sun page 6, Times page 4, Mail page 13)


Sectarianism:  Celtic and Rangers football clubs have questioned the Scottish Government’s proposed legislation to tackle sectarianism at football matches.  The Old Firm clubs generally support the measures, but have concerns that the proposed laws may criminalise innocent fans. (Herald page 1)


A leading lawyer has warned that sectarianism may blossom in an independent Scotland.  Paul McBride QC, made the remarks in an interview with former MP George Galloway, who is writing a book on Celtic manager Neil Lennon.  He expressed concerns that the Scottish Government would find it more difficult to deal with the issue without outside influences from the rest of the UK. (Scotsman page 1, John Curtice in the Scotsman)


Scottish spending: New Treasury figures show that Scotland receives £1,600 more state spending per head than England.  By the end of this financial year the Treasury estimates spending will reach £10,212 for every person in Scotland, compared with £8,588 for England.  The figures sparked a debate between Scottish and English MPs about whether the money sent to Scotland should be cut.  (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald)



Pensions: High inflation will cause significant losses in the real value of pensioners’ savings, new figures reveal.  In the average 20-year retirement, a typical pensioner on a fixed income will lose nearly £10,000 a year in spending power according to pensions firm Prudential.  (Express page 1)



NHS redundancies: The scale of job losses in the NHS in Scotland has been revealed by new figures.  More than 2,000 employees are set to leave this year, including job losses for almost 1,000 nurses.  Nursing leaders condemned the cuts, while the Scottish Government maintained that the quality of care would not be compromised.  (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 4, Record page 1, Sun page 2, Mail page 1)


Care for the elderly: The cost of providing free care to the elderly in Scotland has risen by almost 140 per cent since 2003.  New statistics released by the Scottish Government reveal that the policy now costs £426 million per year.  The rise was mainly due to an increase in the number of elderly people in receipt of free personal care at home, which has risen 40% to 46,260.  (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 4, Times page 5, Mail page 4)


Cancer rates: One in three Scots will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, according to new NHS statistics.  Cancers related to obesity, such as uterine, kidney and liver cancer, have seen large rises in new cases.  (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4)