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Reform Scotland News: 21 June 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

Politics
Reform Scotland opinion poll: A poll carried out by Ipsos Mori for Reform Scotland has shown that 41 per cent of Scots would prefer Scotland to stay in the UK but to be given the substantial additional powers defined by Devo Plus, while 27 per cent opted for independence and 29 per cent for the status quo. (Scotsman page 10, John Curtice in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 13, Record page 9, Mail page 1, P&J page 12, Courier page 20)

Salmond’s American visit: Alex Salmond appeared on the Late Late Show in America yesterday, which is hosted by Scot Craig Ferguson. Jack McConnell has criticised the trews Alex Salmond worse to the Brave premier, leading to comparisons with the former First Minister’s alleged fashion gaff at Tartan week in 2004. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 3, Record page 4, Express page 11, Sun page 23, Mail page 8)

Dalai Lama: SNP-led Dundee Council has been accused of bowing to pressure from the Chinese government after it pulled out of an event where the Dalai Lama is speaking. The Scottish government has said it is a matter for Dundee council. However, the First Minister has come under pressure to meet with the Dalai Lama. (Scotsman page 11, Times page 5, Express page 13, Telegraph page 14, P&J page 9, Courier page 10)

Energy bills post independence: UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has warned that Scottish people will face higher energy bills after independence in order to meet the costs of the “renewable revolution”. (Scotsman page 13, Times page 13, Express page 25, Telegraph page 4, Mail page 8, Courier page 18)

Economy vs constitution: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that the need to improve our economy should be of much greater concern than the constitution at present.

Nationalism: Robin McAlpine in the Scotsman discusses populism and small-n nationalism.

‘No’ campaign: Michael Kelly in the Scotsman looks ahead to Monday’s launch of the ‘no’ campaign.

Independence: Iain MacWhirter in the Herald comments that the current independence debate seems “a long way from national liberation”.

Honours: Dorothy Grace Elder in the Mail accuses former nationalist MP and MSP Sir George Reid of hypocrisy in accepting an honour from the “British establishment”.

Economy
Greek impact on Scotland: An analysis by the Fraser of Allander Institute has suggested that a Greek exit from the euro would cost up to 144,000 Scottish jobs due to a fall in exports, drain in confidence and further constrictions on bank lending. (Scotsman page 1, Paul Brewer in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Record page 6, Express page 7)

Tax avoidance: David Cameron has branded comedian Jimmy Carr “morally wrong” for seeking to avoid paying his fair share of tax.  Mr Carr is understood to use an aggressive, though legal, tax avoidance scheme which enables members to pay income tax as low as 1 per cent. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 1, Times page 8, Record page 5, Stephen Pollard in the Express, Sun page 9, Telegraph page 7, FT page 2, Guardian page 4, Mail page 9, P&J page 20)

Shareholder power: Under new rules announced by Vince Cable, shareholders are to be given greater powers over the pay and bonuses of company executives. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 2, FT page 2)

Unemployment: The latest unemployment figures show a drop of 14,000 in Scotland to 222,000 for the period February to April 2012. (Herald page 6, Express page 10, Sun page 6, Mail page 6, Courier page 18)

Spending cuts: The UK could face spending cuts for up to 10 years according to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood. (Telegraph page 1)

Justice
Emergency control centres: Tavish Scott in the Scotsman comments on plans to centralise the police and fire service in Scotland and says that merging emergency control centres will only happen after 2014 so that the fall-out doesn’t impact on the referendum.

Life prisoners’ loophole: A loophole which allows prisoners serving life sentences to be released on parole earlier than those on fixed term sentences is to be changed. (Herald page 7)

Education
Graduate jobs: Joan Stringer in the Scotsman comments that there are thousands of small and medium sized businesses desperate to attract graduates.

Local Government
Tram pay-offs: Edinburgh Council’s new transport leader, Lesley Hinds, has said it was a mistake and “unacceptable” that seven top directors in Tie, the firm set up by the council to run the trams project, received over £400,000 in compensation after losing their jobs. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 1, Record page 33, Express page 9, Sun page 22, Telegraph page 9, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 1)

Aberdeen Gardens: SNP group leader on Aberdeen City Council, Callum McCaig,  has reportedly been told he will be forcibly removed from a top convener post if he does not withdraw a request for an emergency meeting on the issue of the controversial city gardens project. (P&J page 1)

Transport
Cyclists: 15 cyclists were injured every week on Scotland’s roads last year, a 6 per cent increase on 2010, according to official statistics. (Herald page 1, Record page 16, Mail page 31)

Health
BMA strike: Doctors are due to carry out industrial action for the first time in 37 years today over changes to their pensions.  The BMA has reportedly refused to rule out further strikes. (Scotsman page 1, Dr Brian Keighley in the Scotsman, Herald page 3, Times page 10, Express page 1, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Dominic Raab in the FT, Guardian page 11, Mail page 1, P&J page 11, Courier page 23)

Diabetes: Alex Salmond announced yesterday that Inverness is to become the centre for worldwide research into diabetes carried out by LifeScan. (Scotsman page 6)