Reform Scotland News: 9 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



Trident: The UK government has reportedly said that moving the Trident nuclear deterrent from the Clyde following a vote in favour of independence would cost at least £3.5billion and take a long time.  Ministers also claimed that independence would eventually lead to the entire submarine fleet being pulled out of the Clyde at a loss of 8,200 jobs. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, The Press and Journal page 13)


Catholics in Scotland: Historian Professor Tom Devine has criticised as “intemperate” and “over the top” comments made by Peter Kearney, the director of the Scottish Catholic media office which claimed Scottish Catholics were subjected to bigotry comparable with that suffered by black people in America in the 1950s. (Scotsman page 5, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, The Herald page 7, The Express page 15)


Lord Marland: Lord Marland yesterday resigned as minister for trade, just one day after Lord Strathclyde resigned as leader of the House of Lords.  Downing Street officials have said that Lord Marland stepped down to focus on his role in trade promotion. (Scotsman page 11, Times page 7, Sun page 2)


Coalition mid-term review: The UK coalition government is expected to publish its mid-term review today setting out what pledges and targets have been achieved.  It is thought that 70 election pledges have been missed. (Telegraph page 1)


General Election: The Labour Party has set out its aims for the 2015 general election. These include the aim of winning a 60 seat majority and were drawn up with the help of Arnie Graf, a member of President Obama’s campaign team. (The Guardian page 9)


Wind farms:  More than 500 wind turbines are reportedly expected to be built, or have planning permission approved in the Scottish Borders in 2013. (Telegraph page 1


Devolution: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman comments on the speed in which devolution was achieved in 1997.


Lobbyists: Robin McAlpine in the Scotsman sets out what he believes are the 12 steps to killing off a good policy idea and the influence of lobbying.


UKip: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments on the future prospects of UKip.


Benefits cap: MPs last night voted in favour of a 1 per cent cap on most working-age related benefits. (Scotsman page 1, John Dickie in the Scotsman, The Herald page 6, The Express page 1, The Guardian page 4, The Scottish Mail page 6, The Courier page 17, Record page 2, Sun page 19, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph)


Pensioner benefits: Tory MPs are reportedly urging David Cameron to consider scrapping welfare benefits to richer pensioners as part of the overhaul of the welfare system. (Times page 1)


Whisky tax: Professor John Kay and Sir George Mathewson have called for a new tax to be levied on every bottle of whisky which could raise £1billion for the Scottish government. (Telegraph page 1)


Scottish banks after independence: Capital Economics has reportedly commented that as the vast majority of Scottish banks’ customers are south of the Border, the Bank of England may have no choice but to bail out Scottish banks if needed, if Scotland became independent. (Telegraph page 2)

Child benefit: Judith Woods in the Telegraph comments on the reform of child benefit.

Under-employment: Jim McCormick in the Scotsman comments on the problem of under-employment in Scotland, which includes those who work part-time because they can’t find full-time employment.


Police chiefs:  MSPs yesterday accused Stephen House, the new Chief Constable of Scotland, and Vic Emery, the Chairman of the Scottish Police Authority of “empire building” with regard to their clash over who controls budgets and administrative staff. (Scotsman page 1)


Sentencing Dispute: UK Justice Minister Chris Grayling has spoken out against his Scottish counterpart Kenny MacAskill for being too lenient on offenders and moving to ‘wipe out’ short-term sentences. (The Scottish Mail page 2)



Children’s wards: A report published by the NHS regional planning group for south-east Scotland and Tayside has warned that staff shortages and a lack of money could lead to the closure of some of Scotland’s centres for paediatric services. (Scotsman page 8)


Public Health: Alex Neil has launched a new app aimed at raising awareness at the health risks women face from excessive drinking. Asking women to ‘drop a glass size’ the app highlights the long term impact of drinking and promotes small lifestyle changes that can help curb the health risks. (The Herald page 9, The Express page 25, The Press and Journal page 15, The Courier page 16)


Rail network: Network Rail is to allocate an additional £50million to make Scotland’s rail network more robust. (Scotsman page 13, Record page 8)


V&A Dundee: Plans to build a V&A ‘outpost’ on the banks of the Tay have been hit by funding issues. Two of the funding bodies that pledged to finance the project have backed out of the £45m project. (The Guardian page 14)