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Reform Scotland News: 14 February 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

‘Separate’: It has been reported that due to House of Commons parliamentary authorities banning the word ‘separate’, this led to Labour cancelling a debate on the future of the Royal Mail in Scotland, because Ian McKenzie allegedly was not informed of the change of debate title by clerks. (The Scotsman page 8, The Daily Express page 10)

Second wave cuts: The think tank Centre for Public Policy and the Regions (CPPR) has reported a “second wave” of cuts will hit Scottish public services over the next five years. CPPR warn the continuation of policies such as the protection of NHS spending and payment for the tuition costs of students will have “serious implications” on other areas of the public sector. (The Scotsman page 9)      

Horsemeat: Further coverage and comment regarding the discovery of horsemeat in processed meat claiming to be beef. (Herald page 1, The Scotsman page 10, The Daily Express page 4, The Times page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Financial Times page 4, Mail page 10, Guardian page 1, P&J page 14)

Opinion poll: Further coverage of the latest Ipsos MORI survey which has reported a boost in young Scots support for independence as well as showing more public support for the satisfaction of Nicola Sturgeon than there is of First Minister Alex Salmond.  (The Scotsman page 9, The Daily Express page 8, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2)

Living standards: Ed Miliband is expected to make the 2015 general election about living standards as he claims that the coalition’s squeeze on middle-income Britain has deepened the recession and created further pressure on most families’ living standards. (Guardian page 1, Patrick Wintour in the Guardian, Courier page 22)

Independence target: The civil service trade union First Division Association have warned the SNP target of becoming a new state within 17 months of a ‘Yes’ vote is too demanding and challenging.  (The Scotsman page 8)  

Darling’s warning: Leader of the No campaign Alistair Darling is expected to today warn that independence will leave Scots with less power in a speech to the Foreign Press Association. (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 8, The Times page 4, The Daily Telegraph page 12, Mail page 8)

Opinion caution: Iain MacWhirter in The Herald comments on the attitudes towards opinion polls and why he believes they should be treated with caution.

Pope’s last public mass: Benedict XVI celebrated his final mass as Pope in St Peter’s Basilica yesterday.  (The Scotsman page 3, The Herald page 10, The Daily Record page 6, The Sun page 2, The Times page 11, The Daily Telegraph page 20, The Financial Times page 8)

Economy

Shale gas: Financial experts have reported Scotland is sitting on a potential £5 billion of natural gas reserves lying beneath central Scotland from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway.  A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers states Scotland is in a prime position to “capitalise” through the controversial technique of fracking. (The Scotsman page 1, Courier page 3) 

UK income divide: Economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz reported this week on how an independent Scotland within a Sterling zone could “flourish” by stating the link between social and economic inequality and stunted economic growth. (The Herald page 2)

Food prices: It has been reported that food prices have gone up more than three times, faster than the average wage in the past year by the January Consumer Prices Index from the Office for National Statistics, with warnings of a 1.5 per cent increase yet to come in April and May. (The Daily Express page 1)

Republic: High street fashion chain Republic, who have 14 branches in Scotland employing 227 people, are the latest retailer to go into administration. (The Daily Record page 2)

Retirement: According to a report by Prudential 51 per cent of Scots who want to retire will have to continue working because the UK’s financial crisis means most cannot afford to stop, with the recession cutting the typical Scottish pension pot from £ 18,200 to £ 15,000 over the past three years. (Mail page 1, John MacLeod in the Mail)

Health

IT guidelines: New statistics have revealed NHS staff breached IT guidelines almost 500 times in the past three years through incidents including sharing passwords, swearing in emails, inappropriate Facebook comments and installing banned software on computers. (The Scotsman page 5, The Daily Express page 5)

Opt-out:  The British Medical Association have urged MSPs to consider an ‘ soft opt-out’ system for organ donation in Scotland where by if a patient does not opt-out of organ donation before their death, their families would be asked if they object to their organs being used as transplants. (The Daily Record page 2)