Reform Scotland News: 20 October 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. 


Reform Scotland

Malcolm Chisholm: Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm has called for Labour to abandon its support for the Scotland Bill and instead look to devolve a wider range of powers to Holyrood.  Writing on the Labour Hame website he suggests that the party consider the stance taken by Reform Scotland, commenting “We should therefore not just look at what has come to be called Devo Max – that is, the devolution of all taxes and revenues to Scotland – but also at intermediate positions such as the Devolution Plus advocated by Reform Scotland.” (Herald page 6)



Liam Fox: In a personal statement to the House of Commons yesterday the former defence secretary apologised to parliament for his conduct regarding his working relationship with Adam Werrity.  However, he is to face another inquiry as the Parliamentary Standards Watchdog is to examine allegations that Liam Fox allowed Adam Werrity to live rent free and run a business in a property paid for by parliamentary expenses. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Times page 17, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Mirror page 4, Mail page 12, John MacLeod in the Mail, Express page 2, Guardian page 1, Courier page 11, P&J page 11, FT page 2, Telegraph page 12)


Referendum: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on the timing of the independence referendum.


SNP conference: Alex Salmond is expected to open the SNP conference in Inverness today by focusing on the fact that despite Scotland being an energy rich country, fuel poverty is suffered by many Scots. (Herald page 6, Express page 1, P&J page 8)


Scottish Tory leadership: Ruth Davidson, one of the contenders to replace Annabel Goldie as leader of the Scottish Tories, is interviewed in the Mail.


Europe: Many Tory MPs are expected to rebel against the Prime Minister and government whips and vote in favour of a referendum of the UK’s membership of the EU in a debate to be held in the Commons on Monday. (Telegraph page 1, Graham Brady in the Telegraph)



Growth: A fall in the construction industry is being blamed for poor Scottish growth figures which indicate a rise of just 0.1 per cent during the second quarter of 2011.  Scotland is now lagging behind the rest of the UK with annual growth of just 1.1 per cent compared with 1.5 per cent for the UK. (Scotsman page 1, Brian Ashcroft in the Scotsman, Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, Times page 13, Angus Macleod in the Times, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 1)


Bankruptcy: Eighty Scots a day are reportedly falling into bankruptcy. (Mail page 1, Express page 10, Courier page 11)


Youth unemployment: Margaret Curran MP, the new shadow Scottish secretary, has made tackling youth unemployment her top priority. (Record page 8)


Longannet: Energy secretary Chris Hune yesterday confirmed that the government had abandoned plans for a carbon capture and storage plant at Longannet in Fife.   The reason given was that the coalition had offered £1bn for the project but the commercial companies believed £1.5bn would be needed.  There is reported speculation that a new carbon capture scheme could now be developed for Peterhead. (Herald page 1, Steven Vass in the Herald, Times page 1, Mail page 28, Express page 2, Guardian page 25, Courier page 1, P&J page 7, Telegraph page 6)


Pensions: The National Association of Pension Funds has claimed that savers are having their retirement funds eaten away by excessive hidden fees and levies. (Telegraph page 1)



Further education: Principals of Scotland’s colleges are due to meet the cabinet secretary for education today to discuss concerns over funding cuts to the further education sector. (Scotsman page 2)



Edinburgh airport:  BAA has announced it is to sell Edinburgh airport. The decision comes following a ruling by the Competition Commission which ordered the company to sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport.  BAA has indicated it will formally go to the market in the New Year. (Scotsman page 1, John Strictland in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Sun page 2, Mail page 19, Express page 6, Courier page 8, Telegraph page 6)



Life expectancy: Life expectancy between Scotland and England has widened according to official figures.  Life expectancy for Scottish women has increased by two years over the past decade to 80.4 years and by three years for Scottish men to 75.8 years, though Scots have the lowest life expectancy of all the UK nations.  However, there is also a significant life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest area of Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Cathy Johnman in the Scotsman, Herald page 10, Sun page 6, Mail page 11, Courier page 8)



Drugs: The Scottish Drugs Strategy Delivery Commission’s first report on the national drugs strategy has said that initiatives to address Scotland’s drug problems are “hugely inefficient”. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 4)


Identity theft: The number of victims of ID fraud is reportedly increasing.  There were a total of 80,000 cases reported across the UK last year with victims losing an average of £1,190. (Scotsman page 20)


Human rights: Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice of England, who sits on the UK Supreme Court, has commented that British courts are free to ignore rulings from the European Court of Human Rights. (Times page 1, P&J page 13)