0131 524 9500 | info@reformscotland.com

Reform Scotland News: 19 December 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
Deprivation:
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012 has indicated that Ferguslie Park in Paisley is the most deprived area of Scotland while Craiglockart in Edinburgh is the least deprived. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 5, Sun page 2)

‘Plebgate’: A Dispatches investigation broadcast last night by Channel 4 showed CCTV footage of Andrew Mitchell leaving Downing Street, which some claim appears to contradict the police log of the account.  As a result Andrew Mitchell has called for an inquiry into the row. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 16, Express page 2, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1, P&J page 19, Courier page 17, Mail page 6)

Lender of last resort: Michael Moore has said that it was “extremely unlikely” that the rest of the UK would agree to the Bank of England acting as the central bank and lender of last resort for an independent Scotland. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 6, P&J page 14)

Tony Blair: Tony Blair has reportedly commented that he would be “very happy to play a part” in the pro-union campaign. (Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

Social audit: Kevin Williamson, vice-convenor of the Scottish Independence Convention, has reportedly called for a “social audit” of government officials and administrators to discover “who they speak for”.  Mr Williamson reportedly later admitted that his comments sounded a “bit fascistic” but did not withdraw them. (Times page 3, Sun page 2, Express page 1, Jenny Hjul in the Telegraph, Courier page 16, Mail page 7)

Queen at Cabinet: The Queen attended the UK Cabinet yesterday, the first time in peacetime that a monarch has done so for over 200 years. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 6, Sun page 11, Express page 3, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Guardian page 3, Courier page 16)

Devo Plus: Ben Thomson in the Scotsman outlines why Devo Plus is the best option for Scotland’s constitutional future.

Economy
Games security:
The cost of security for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is now expected to be £90m, higher than the initial £27.2m which had been set aside. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 12, Mail page 18)

Comet: A government inquiry into the collapse of Comet is to be launched after it was revealed that that the taxpayer is having to pick up the £23.2m bill for outstanding redundancy and holiday pay and £26.2m has been lost to HMRC through unpaid tax. (Scotsman page 16, Guardian page 20)

Redundancy period: The UK government has announced it is intending to cut the 90-day period for enacting large-scale redundancies to 45 days. (Herald page 6, Guardian page 10, Mail page 17)

Population: Ian Bell in the Herald comments on the new Scottish population figures which showed that there were now more people over the age of 65 in Scotland than under 15.

Health
Doctor numbers:
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and said that is facing a potential crisis in recruiting hospital doctors. (Herald page 3)

Heart disease & stroke fatalities: The number of deaths from coronary heart disease has fallen by 43.2 per cent since 2002, while the number of deaths from stroke has fallen by 41.8 percent according to official figures. (Record page 2, Express page 4, P&J page 15, Courier page 13)

Transport
Rail strikes:
The RMT union will meet today to decide whether to accept an offer by ScotRail and cancel planned industrial action, due to take place on the 22nd and 24th of December. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, Times page 3, Sun page 15, Express page 10, Telegraph page 9, Mail page 5)

Potholes: Scotland’s roads and paths are the worst in the UK for potholes according to a survey by the AA. (Herald page 9, Courier page 19, Mail page 30)

Education
Exam results:
School league tables, based on exam results, have been published by some newspapers.  Figures suggest that in more affluent areas pupils are performing well, but pupils in derived areas continue to leave school often without any Highers.  (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Times page 14, Sun page 2, Express page 5, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 6, Courier page 20, Mail page 8)

University students: The Scottish government has confirmed that universities will receive £10m next year to fund an additional 2,000 places for students. (Herald page 9, Courier page 17)

University tuition: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman argues that Scotland can no longer afford taxpayer funded university tuition.