Reform Scotland News: 25 January 2013

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

Scotland and the EU: Alex Salmond has revealed that he has sought advice from the UK government on Scotland’s membership status in the EU. The issue is surrounding whether Scotland would have to reapply to the EU in the case of independence. The EU President has refused to meet with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to talk directly about the issue on the grounds that Scotland is not a member state. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Sun page 6, P&J page 12, Courier page 21)

 

Britain and the EU: David Cameron has continued to justify his decision on an EU referendum. The long awaited announcement sparked debate over the EU’s role in Britain. New poll findings suggest that 40% of voters would vote for the UK to leave the EU in an ‘in-out’ referendum. (Times page 1, Daily Express page 7, Simon Jenkins, Daily Mail page 4, Courier page 20)

 

Faslane: Lord Browne has launched an attack on the UK’s round the clock nuclear deterrent. The state of Britain’s nuclear arsenal has become a key issue in the independence debate. Lord Browne argues that although multi-lateral disarmament is highly unlikely it is important to continue to reduce the reliance on nuclear weapons. (Scotsman page 8)

 

Independence: The Scottish Centre for Social Research has published further results from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey investigation into the independence referendum. The results claim that support for independence has dropped since the SNP won its majority. The findings also say that the economy is the key factor for people in their opinions on independence rather than identity. (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 4)

 

Scottish Conservatives: The Scottish Conservative Party are reportedly looking to distance themselves from the Westminster party by rethinking their opposition to further devolved tax powers. Alongside this repositioning comes a speech from Ruth Davidson conceding that they have failed to notice a changing mood in Scotland and will reassert that the Scottish Conservatives do put Scotland first. (Scotsman page 4, Telegraph page 1, Sun page 6, Herald page 6, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 4, Courier page 20)

 

Economy

Taxation: David Cameron’s plans to reform tax laws forcing large companies to be more transparent regarding their tax affairs have been criticised by business leaders. The fear is that such laws would stifle the UK’s economic recovery as businesses would be reluctant to locate in the UK. (Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 4)

 

Wind-Farms: Scotland is reportedly seen as the ‘land of the wind turbine’. A study by Universities across the UK has suggested that the SNP has been more willing to approve the building of turbines than other devolved governments. It also suggests that the SNP have been more forthright in overturning local council rulings against wind turbines. (Telegraph page 8, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 6)

 

Coalition: Nick Clegg has reportedly admitted to mistakes in the coalition’s economic plan. He concedes that infrastructure spending was cut too fast hindering long term recovery efforts. (Sun page 2)

 

Health

Elderly Care: Five care workers have been suspended for abuse of patients. The workers were caught up in the scandal after Panorama broadcast its programme revealing the level of abuse in care homes across the UK. In Scotland, it was a private care home in Dundee that was secretly filmed leading to these suspensions. (Scotsman page 9)

 

A&E: Health Secretary Alex Neil has pledged £1m to hire extra A&E consultants across Scotland. (Sun page 2, Daily Record page 1)

 

Local government

Glasgow: Glasgow has been awarded a £24m prize to invest in infrastructure. The money is part of a project to allow Glasgow to develop into the ‘city of the future’ by experimenting with making the urban environment more sustainable. (Herald page 1)

 

Education

Colleges: 5,800 students have been turned away from colleges across Scotland as the number of places available has failed to meet demand. (Herald page 11)

 

Transport

Airports: £15m is to be invested in Edinburgh airport with the aim of attracting new routes to the capital. The goal is to make Edinburgh Airport a credible rival to Glasgow International which has recently secured two lucrative deals from Lufthansa and Emirates. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 1)