Reforms Scotland News: 28 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



Salmond’s apology: First Minister Alex Salmond has apologised for misrepresenting the opinion of Professor Matthew Qvortrup, an electoral expert, at FMQ’s yesterday in response to questioning on the proposal for a two-question referendum. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, P&J page 10, Courier page 13, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Record page 6, Mail page 1, Time page 1, Express page 4,  Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)


Alcohol: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore attacked the Scottish Government, arguing that it had been hypocritical to claim it wanted to tackle the effects of alcohol while simultaneously benefitting financially from increased sales. The attack comes after it was proposed alcohol excise duty was devolved to the Scottish Government. (Herald page 6)



North Sea oil: Canadian oil company Nexen Petroleum has announced a £2 billion development deal in the Golden Eagle field, an investment that will see oil production continue until 2029 with the creation of 2,400 jobs. The EU have also set out proposals for stringent rules on drilling as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Scotsman page 9 & 17, P&J page 6)


Eurozone deal: Stock markets around the world surged and the euro made strong gains as a result of yesterday’s Eurozone deal that saw £880 billion given to the European Financial Stability Facility. The Chancellor George Osborne yesterday spoke of a ‘rebalance’ of Britain’s relationship with Europe as conjecture about a two tier Europe increased. Similarly, speculation that Britain may increase IMF contributions were also made, while China has also been mentioned as a source of stabilising capital. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 2, P&J page 8, Courier page 11, Mail page 1, Express page 8)


Directors’ salaries: Questions have been raised over the 49 per cent pay rise seen by FTSE 100 directors, while the companies they direct achieved growth of 24.6 per cent. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 9)


Women’s pension: The proportion of women who receive full state pension is set to double in 20 years, according to the Office for National Statistics, with women previously having failed to build up full or near-full entitlement in the pre-April 2010 system. (Scotsman page 3)


Small Business Bonus Scheme: Small firms in Scotland are taking advantage of the government’s cut-price business rates scheme, with numbers increasing from 73,939 in 2009 to 85,199 this year. (P&J page 8)


Gender pay gap: Working women in the Highlands have been warned that they face double the gender pay gap than other working women in Scotland, according to the Office for National Statistics, which shows women on average get paid £2.01 less than their male counterparts. (Herald page 11)



Robert Black: Robert Black has been convicted of the murder of Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland in 1981, the fourth such murder for which he has been convicted. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, Sun page 1, Guardian page 9, Record page 1, Mirror page 1, Mail page 1, Times page 1, Express page 9)


Scottish police wages: The wage bill of the Scottish Police has risen by £40m over the past three years, with the number of police officers on the beat rising by just 160 in the same period, according to figures released yesterday in the Scottish Police Performance Framework. (Courier page 8)


Knife crime: Moves south of the border to jail teenagers caught wielding knives will not be introduced in Scotland. (Mail page 8)



Airport fee: £1.3m has been raised from Edinburgh Airport’s fee for using the drop off car park outside the airport terminal, a scheme that has raised recent controversy. (Scotsman page 14)



Cancer on the rise: The number of cancer sufferers is set to increase by 45 per cent to 432,000 by 2030, according to Cancer Research UK. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 11)


Aspirin use: Professor Sir John Burn of the University of Newcastle released a study that showed two aspirins a day could reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer by 60 per cent. (Express page 1, P&J page 13, Scotsman page 2)


Winter death toll:  The lowest number of winter deaths in two decades was recorded last year, with most deaths recorded being in the over-65 age group. (Express page 2, Courier page 15)


Local government

Council houses: Council houses could be bought back from those who bought them under the Right to Buy scheme, a project East Lothian Council hopes will tackle the housing crisis in the area. (Mail page 8)