Reform Scotland News: 11/01/2012


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. 



Referendum: Alex Salmond has announced that the SNP will seek to hold the referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014 and that a Scottish Government consultation on the topic will begin in 2 weeks. This announcement comes as the Scottish Secretary at Westminster Michael Moore launches an 8 week consultation on handing temporary powers to Holyrood to run the referendum. The UK government has made it clear that were the referendum to be held without meeting the conditions they have set that they would take the matter to the Supreme Court and seek to it invalidated. The UK government’s conditions include the use of the Electoral Commission to referee the poll, the posing of a ‘straight-forward Yes-No question’ and not extending the vote to those under the legal voting age. The SNP have argued that an independent Scottish body should run and referee the referendum, that a third option could be included and would seek to allow 16 and 17 year old Scots to vote. There are concerns that the inability of the two governments to agree could lead to a constitutional clash and a lengthy period of legal wrangling. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Guardian page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mirror page 6, Daily Mail page 1, Michael Moore in the Daily Mail, Financial Times page 2, Times page 1, Daily Express page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Herald page 1 and Ian Bell in the Herald.)


Leveson Inquiry: Lord Leveson has stated that he expects to witness a thorough overhaul of the media industry’s regulations. He envisages that such a body would be independent of the government but have complaints and dispute resolutions powers. David Cameron has stated that he will attend the Leveson Inquiry if asked to do so.  (Scotsman page 8, Guardian page 11, Daily Mail page 12, Financial Times page 3, Times page 10, Daily Telegraph page 9)


Immigration figures: The UK government’s immigration advisory body ‘Mac’ has said that an extra 160,000 jobs would have been available in the UK last year if no migrants from outside of the EU had come to the UK. The results of this report contrast with a report by National Institute of Economic and Social Research which found that the number of immigrants to the UK had little or no impact upon the number of unemployed.  (Scotsman page 11, Guardian page 10, Daily Mirror page 4, Daily Mail page 2, Times page 17, Daily Express page 4, Press and Journal page 11, Daily Telegraph page 12)


Ed Miliband: Labour Leader Ed Miliband has stated that were Labour to win the next general election they would continue Conservative cuts in police, schools and defence areas.

(Scotsman page 13, Sun page 2, Daily Record page 9, Daily Mirror page 9, Daily Mail page 10, Times page 14, Daily Express page 2, Press and Journal page 9, Daily Telegraph page 1, Herald page 2)



Food and drink costs: New figures released by the British Retail Consortium show that the cost of food has risen by 4.2% in the past year. However analysts have stressed that the level of inflation is within the government’s estimate of 5% and that commodity prices are falling.

(Scotsman page 9)


‘Tesco tax’: Supermarkets have claimed that Scottish Government plans for a new levy on all major stores selling alcohol and cigarettes will strip them of 10% of their profit. The SNP plans will seek to use money from the sale of alcohol and cigarettes to use in preventative health measures. However a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research has criticised the plans stating they will have a greater impact than Ministers claim and that their lack of proportionality will damage business in Scotland. The report comes as Dr Rice of the College of Psychiatrists in Scotland calls for a ban on the sale of alcohol in supermarkets in Scotland.(Scotsman page 14, Times page 5, Daily Express page 19, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 7, Daily Telegraph page 10, Herald page 2)


Retail Sector Report: A new report by the Scottish Retail Consortium has warned that poor government intervention could increase the diminishing footfall, store occupancy and retail employment figures in Scottish shops and businesses and has urged the Scottish government not to increase retailer’s regulatory and operating costs.

(Scotsman page 15)


Energy complaints: Six major energy firms in Scotland have come under fire after consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ revealed that they had attracted more than 4 million complaints in the last year. (Scotsman page 21, Daily Mail page 2, Daily Telegraph page 12, Herald page 4)


Retirement costs: People who retire this year are likely to receive approximately £3,000 less than those who retired in 2008. The average pension in Scotland, £14,200 per annum, is the third lowest in the UK. (Scotsman page 17, Daily Mail page 6, Daily Express page 15, Herald page 10)



Overseas Death Legislation: Holyrood’s justice committee could make a bid to draft its own legislation to seek justice for Scots who die abroad.

(Scotsman page 16)


Local Government

Occupy Edinburgh: Approximately 30 members of the Occupy Edinburgh camp have confirmed their decision to remain in St Andrews Square ‘for as long as gross inequalities exist’ after long talks with the Essential Edinburgh group who owns the square. There are concerns that the site is being damaged by the camp.

(Scotsman page 3, Times page 20)


Glasgow-Dubai flight: Glasgow airport has won a contract to operate a second daily direct flight to Dubai with Emirates Airlines. Edinburgh airport had hoped to win the contract.

(Scotsman page 22, Herald page 11)


Edinburgh Council Equal pay: A number of female employees of Edinburgh City Council have learned that the council is going to give them their ‘back pay’ after they won the legal battle to have pay equal to that of male workers in different posts doing similar work.  (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 11)



Breastfeeding: Research from Cambridge University has suggested that babies who are breast-fed cry more, laugh less and have ‘more challenging temperaments’ however the report has also suggested that mothers should learn to cope with the behaviour rather than abandoning breast-feeding.   (Scotsman page 23, Sun page 22, Daily Mail page 7, Times page 11, Daily Telegraph page 3, Herald page 3)



Graduate employment: High Fliers Research has found that while employers are likely to hire 6.4% more university leavers this year more than a third of places will be filled by those who have already worked for the company.  (Scotsman page 16, Daily Telegraph page 12)



High-speed rail: Transport Minister Keith Brown has warned that Scotland may have to wait 20 years to hear whether it will be connected to High Speed Two (HS2), the high speed rail project. His remarks have angered Scottish MSPs who have stated that Scotland cannot wait that long.   (Scotsman page 16, Guardian page 8, Daily Mirror page 15, Daily Mail page 9, Financial Times page 1, Times page 6, Daily Express page 6, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 10, Daily Telegraph page 4, Herald page 9)