Reform Scotland News: 8 September 2011


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.



Legislative programme: Alex Salmond has announced the Scottish government’s new legislative programme yesterday and declaring that an ‘independence generation’ is forming in Scotland. The First Minister stated that people no longer ‘fear’ independence.  In his speech Salmond also announced legislation to tackle sectarianism, a minimum pricing strategy for alcohol and new powers for the Freedom of Information Act. (Scotsman page 1 and 6, The Times page 1, Magnus Linklater in The Times, The Sun page 8, The Guardian page 7, The Herald page 1, The Daily Record page 2, The Daily Mail page 1, John MacLeod in the Daily Mail, Financial Times page 2, Press and Journal page 7, Daily Express page 4)


For information on all the new legislations announced yesterday see Scotsman page 8, The Times page 7, The Herald page 7, The Daily Record page 2, The Courier page 8


Gay Marriage: The Catholic Church in Scotland has stated that it will ‘strenuously oppose’ moves to legalise same-sex marriage.  Cardinal Keith O’Brien reportedly claimed that allowing gay people to marry would be a ‘direct attack’ on the institution of marriage. (Scotsman page 5, The Times page 28, The Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 10, Press and Journal page 12)


Oil and Gas: The government’s health and safety watchdog has announced it may begin ‘naming and shaming’ the oil companies responsible for potentially catastrophic releases of oil and gas into the North Sea. Until now only anonymous statistics have been released.  The head of the Health and Safety Executive Steve Walker stressed, however, that there has been a ‘significant reduction’ in hydrocarbon releases since a peak in 2000. (Scotsman page 16, Press and Journal page 21)  



50p Tax Rate: David Cameron has declared that the 50p tax rate is only temporary, in response to a letter from 20 leading economists calling for the rate, levied on those earning £150,000 or more, to be scrapped. (Scotsman page 2, The Times page 23, The Guardian page 2, The Daily Record page 4, Daily Mail page 4, Financial Times page 3, Courier page 14, Daily Express page 1)


Shops: The number of high-street shops lying empty in Scotland has increased, with vacancies of just less than 14%. This, however, is still lower than the UK average which stands at 14.3%. (Scotsman page 14, The Guardian page 15, Financial Times page 4)


Quantitative Easing: The Institute of Directors, one of the country’s leading business groups, has called on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee to inject another £50bn into the economy through quantitative easing.  (Scotsman Business page 1, Guardian page 25)




Cancer Rates: Cancer rates across the world have increased by a fifth in the last six years affecting 12.6million people. Currently 2.8m cases are linked with poor diets, lack of exercise and obesity. (Scotsman page 1 and page 32)  



Single Police Force: Alex Salmond has revealed a plan to merge Scotland’s police forces into a single force. The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland has stated that, despite opposing the change, he believes the new force must be in place by the 2014 Commonwealth Games in order to minimise disruption. (Scotsman page 6, Daily Mail page 6, The Courier page 1, The Press and Journal page 1)