Reform Scotland News: 8 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



Coalition review: The coalition government has renewed its commitment to tackling the deficit and reducing public borrowing as part of its mid-term review. David Cameron stated that the coalition government would see out its full term, calling the partnership a ‘Ronseal deal’. The Prime Minister also used the review to outline plans to win Scots “hearts and minds” before the independence referendum to keep the Union together. (Scotsman page 1, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Daily Record page 7, Herald page 6, FT page 1, Daily Express page 5, Times page 10, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Sun page 4, Telegraph page 4, Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 2, Quentin Letts in Daily Mail, P&J page 12, Courier page 14)


Independence and Rosyth: Industrial trade union chairman Raymond Duguid has indicated that independence could be catastrophic for Rosyth shipyard as it would lose the job of refitting Royal Navy ships which is the foundation of the shipyard’s work. He has also said that the SNP are not taking on board their views nor have they spoken to workers at the shipyard. (Scotsman page 6, Daily Record page 6, Daily Express page 8, P&J page 13, Courier page 15)


Referendum coverage: A group of former BBC Scotland journalists have warned that cuts at the BBC are seriously affecting news and current affairs coverage as the independence referendum approaches. BBC executives are expected to appear before MSPs later this month to address the issue. (Scotsman page 15)


CalMac routes: New questions have been raised over the extension to state-owned CalMac’s contract to operate Clyde and Hebridean ferries. A freedom of information request by the Conservatives in Scotland has found there was no written communication between the Scottish Government and Caledonian MacBrayne over the deal. (Scotsman page 18, P&J page 11)


Wind-farms: Scottish photographer Colin Prior whose iconic images are being used to promote the Year of Natural Scotland tourism drive has criticised the SNP’s approach to green energy. He has warned that wind farms are ruining Scotland’s unique landscape for future generations. (Scotsman page 19)


Independence campaign: Gregor Gall comments in the Scotsman on the challenges facing the Yes campaign in the run up to the independence referendum and warns that they have no time to lose in persuading voters. Angus Mcleod writes in the Times that Alex Salmond will have to act quickly if the vote for independence is to gather enough momentum to be successful in time for the referendum.


Fishing: Scottish fisherman have renewed calls for the EU to intervene in a bid to stop Icelandic and Faroese fishing fleets plundering the mackerel stocks they share with Scotland and Norway. Both Iceland and the Faroes have dramatically increased their allowances. (Daily Record page 2)


Big Society: Colette Douglas Home writes in the Herald that the Big Society is not dead and comments that it is an aspect of our community that does not belong to a political party and should not be politicised.


Bigotry: A senior member of the Catholic Church in Scotland has likened the experience of Scottish Catholics to the plight of black citizens in 1950s and 60s America. His comments come after the Scottish Government’s anti-bigotry advisor Dr Duncan Morrow claimed bigotry was a Scotland-wise issue not confined to football. (Herald page 1, Alan Cochrane in Telegraph)



Wages boost: Aberdeen Council is to become the latest Scottish local authority to introduce a living wage supplement of £7.20 an hour for its staff. (Scotsman page 16, P&J page 8)


Benefits cap: New research claims that almost 1 million families in Scotland will lose hundreds of pounds by 2016 if the Coalition’s proposed 1% cap on benefit rises goes ahead. The issue will be debated today in the House of Commons with Labour set to oppose the changes. Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the proposal for penalising those who work and receive benefits. (Herald page 1, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Hugo Rifkind in the Times)


Concessionary travel: The concessionary travel scheme, which allows over 60s, disabled passengers and veterans to use bus services for free, is reportedly set to lose £15million in funding this year. Firms are axing routed and reducing the frequency of buses as a result of the cutbacks. (Daily Record page 18, Telegraph page 9) 



Police deal: A deal between Scotland’s new chief constable and the single force’s police authority is reportedly closer after agreements have been made over the issue of staffing. (Herald page 5, P&J page 14)



Pensions: School Leaders Scotland, which represents more than 700 heads and deputies in state and private schools, has expressed concern over changes to pensions. The new plans would see members paying up to £1,600 a year extra in contributions but with no increase in the size of pension they receive. (Scotsman page 14)