Reform Scotland News: 27 March 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



Wind farm: Donald Trump has vowed to block the construction of a wind farm off the coast of his Menie estate. He has also put future plans for the golf course on hold until the matter has been resolved. Mr Trump has also suggested that the wind farm may be sunk by the Ministry of Defence if it does not satisfy their Defence Radar Mitigation Scheme. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 16, Times page 13, FT page 1, Express page 13, Record page 1, Sun page 22, Guardian page 21, Mail page 10, P&J page 1, Courier page 13)


Holyrood powers: Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly backing the prospect of more powers being handed to Holyrood as part of a Conservative review of devolution. Ruth Davidson, the Scottish party leader, unveiled plans for a group to examine the existing devolution settlement in order to set out a clear alternative to independence in next year’s referendum. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Times page 5, Express page 9, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Guardian page 15, Mail page 6, P&J page 12, Courier page 14)


David Miliband: Labour MP and former Foreign Secretary David Miliband has resigned from his seat in South Shields to run disaster relief charity International Rescue Committee in New York. (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page 2, Times page 1, Express page 2, Record page 5, Sun page 2, Mail page 10, P&J page 23, Courier page 3)


Border Agency: The UK Border Agency is to be scrapped as part of a shake up of Britain’s immigration system. Home Secretary Theresa May has said that the agency is still not good enough and its operations will be brought under Home Office control. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 5, Telegraph page 1, Times page 7, FT page 2, Guardian page 1


Oil boom: Brian Wilson writing in the Scotsman criticises the Nationalists for making assertions without supporting evidence and in particular their suggestion that there will be a second oil boom for Scotland.


Independence: Christine Jardine writing in the Scotsman criticises the SNP’s focus on independence and argues that they are neglecting current problems such as education and the National Health Service.


Scotsman job cuts: Former Scottish Government minister Stewart Stevenson has reportedly provoked anger by linking job losses at the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday with its supposed stance against independence. (Times page 19, Express page 9)


Tax devolution: Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent move to put off the decision to devolve corporation tax to Northern Ireland has prompted Peter Robinson, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, and the SNP to claim that independence is the only way to achieve the devolution of substantive powers to Scotland. (Herald page 1)



Bedroom tax: Council leaders have warned that the ‘bedroom tax’ could lead to an increase in homelessness in Scotland. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is due to give evidence in support of the scheme to MSPs in Edinburgh today. (Scotsman page 12)


EU funding: UK ministers have decided to increase the allocation of European funds Scotland will receive. The Scottish Government had been facing a 32 per cent cut in European Structural funds but it was revealed last night that Scotland would only receive a 5 per cent cut. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 16, P&J page 21)


Pensions: Iain Duncan Smith has warned that an independent Scotland would have to consider higher borrowing or taxes in order to pay its bill for state pensions. The cost of pensioner benefits is expected to rise more rapidly north of the Border due to Scotland’s ageing population. (Herald page 5, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 6)


Help to Buy scheme: The Office for Budget Responsibility has reportedly criticised Chancellor George Osborne’s new mortgage guarantee scheme. The fiscal watchdog has said the scheme is more likely to drive up house prices than address the shortage of housing as George Osborne had suggested. (FT page 2, Guardian page 2)


Energy bills: Energy Secretary Ed Davey has insisted that households will be better off thanks to the benefits of electricity-saving initiatives despite reports that families will be paying almost £300 a year in green energy taxes by 2020. (Mail page 1, Christopher Booker in the Mail)



Counter-terrorism: The Chief Constable of Scotland’s new single police force has revealed that it will not have a separate counter-terrorist squad. Instead, organised crime and counter-terrorism will be combined in the same unit. (Herald page 1)



Cancer treatment: New figures have shown that the treatment time for patients suffering from lung, bowel, prostate and head and neck cancers is failing to meet the 95% target set to ensure cancer patients start treatment within two months of seeing their GP. (Scotsman page 14)