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Reform Scotland News: 19 December 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. 

 

Politics
Labour leadership: The newly-elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Johann Lamont MSP, has vowed to reach out to women and the business community as she takes on the ‘huge challenge of reconnecting with voters. She has declared she is ready to take on Alex Salmond, but also that she will work with him to tackle youth unemployment in Scotland. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 8, Lesley Riddoch in The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Kenny Farquharson in Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Times page 2, Sunday Herald page 4, Times page 7, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Mail page 2, Express page 2, Telegraph page 8)

Same-sex marriage: The Scottish government has not ruled out a compromise deal that would legalise same-sex marriages while not allowing them to be held in churches, although it claimed no decision had been taken. (Scotsman page 5, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Express page 15)

 European Union: Nick Clegg has attacked Europsceptics who he claims are predicting a collapse of the eurozone ‘with glee’ as he believes that millions of jobs are at risk. David Cameron is also reportedly coming under pressure to contribute more than £25 billion to a new eurozone bailout. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 1)

Scotland Bill: Duncan Hamilton in Scotland on Sunday comments on whether the SNP should veto the Scotland Bill.

Tax breaks for married couples: Nick Clegg has attacked the idea of a marital tax allowance, insisting that people marry for love, not ‘cash back from the state.’  Despite this, it is expected that David Cameron will push ahead with the idea. (Times page 13, Mail page 12, Telegraph page 4)

Economy

Mortgages: The Financial Services Authority is unveiling a massive shake-up of the mortgage market which will come into force within 18 months and which is aimed at preventing a return to irresponsible lending and stopping borrowers taking out loans they can’t afford. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 7, Mail page 4)

Banking reform: The UK coalition government will reportedly ‘accept in full’ the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Baking chaired by Sir John Vickers. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 7, Record page 6, Mail page 6)

Justice

Court Closures: Dozens of courts across Scotland are reportedly facing closure in an attempt to save millions of pounds. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 3, Mail page 6, Telegraph page 1)

 

Education

Internet: Teachers are to be warned by the General Teaching Council for Scotland that they risk being struck off for inappropriate use of the internet on sites such as Facebook. (Herald page 2, Express page 25)

 

Health

GP contract: Nicola Sturgeon intends to put forward plans to take greater control over negotiating the work contract of GPs, the priorities for which are currently negotiated at a UK level. (Scotsman page 8, Sunday Times page 2, Herald page 12, Times page 14, Mail page 5)

 

Transport

Forth bridge: The new Forth crossing will be fitted with huge wind barriers to prevent it from being closed in the kind of storms that recently caused problems for drivers. (Herald page 8)