Reform Scotland News: 15 April 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



Margaret Thatcher: More comment and analysis on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont has revealed his party will attempt to stop a Scottish Parliament debate on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher due to take place on the same day as her funeral. The scale of the funeral has been criticised by some, while protests will reportedly take place on the day. (Scotsman page 6, Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman, Brian Monteith in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Andrew McKie in the Herald, Telegraph page 6, Times page 8, Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times, Gillian Bowditch in the Sunday Times Sunday Times page 1, Sunday Herald page 2, Ian Bell in the Sunday Herald, Iain MacWhirter in the Sunday Herald, Guardian page 1, Nicholas Watt in the Guardian, Courier page 21, Press and Journal page 16, Robert Hardman in the Daily Mail, Peter McKay in the Daily Mail, Gerald Warner in the Scotland on Sunday)  


Better Together Donation: Former Labour First Minster Henry McLeish has joined those questioning the wisdom of the Better Together campaign accepting a £500,000 donation from businessman Ian Taylor. Alistair Darling has defended the decision to accept the money. (Herald page 2, Times page 23, Express page 7, Sun page 2, Sunday Times page 7, Euan McColm in the Scotland on Sunday)


Labour Tax Proposals: The SNP has claimed an internal Scottish Labour Party row over giving the Scottish Parliament additional tax raising powers weakens the prospect of these being devolved as a result of a ‘No’ vote in 2014. (Scotsman page 5)


MP Expenses: Taxpayers have reportedly been left with a £27,000 bill after Jim McGovern, Labour MP for Dundee West, challenged the decision of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to reject his claim for a £24 train ticket. Despite losing his appeal, the tribunal judge ordered each side to pay its own costs. (Telegraph page 9, Express page 2, Record page 2, Sun page 2, Sunday Herald page 10, Courier page 1, Daily Mail page 19)


NATO: The SNP policy of joining NATO while removing Trident has been described as illogical by a former US government official who advised George W. Bush (Telegraph page 2, Times page , Daily Mail page 12)


Ed Miliband: The Labour leader Ed Miliband has been challenged by former cabinet minister John Reid to set out the direction of a future labour government on issues such as welfare and the economy. (Sun page 2, Courier page 20, Daily Mail page 10)


Major Veto: John Major reportedly vetoed proposals put forward by Michael Forsyth for the creation of a grand committee of all Scottish MPs intended to thwart the creation of a Scottish Parliament. (Sunday Times page 2)


Defence: A respected Irish military figure has suggested Scotland could cut defence spending but still meets its security needs. (Sunday Herald page 16)


Opinion Poll: A survey of opinion in the north and north-east of Scotland carried out by the Press and Journal found 50% of people want to stay in the UK, an increase of 5.3% on a similar poll carried out last year. (Press and Journal page 1)

Unite: Len McCluskey has been re-elected for another five-year term as general secretary of Unite, the UK’s biggest trade union (Scotsman page 4, Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 20)



Public Sector Jobs: Dr John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has predicted a further 340,000 public sector jobs might be cut across the UK before the next general election. (Scotsman page 1)


HBOS: Pressure is reportedly growing on another HBOS executive, Colin Matthew, to follow the example of Sir James Crosby and hand back some of his pension entitlement. (Scotsman page 5)


Renewable Energy: Scottish scientists claim they have devised a way to generate green energy from water ‘on an industrial scale’ by splitting water into its constituent parts. (Scotsman page 18)


Fringe Dispute: Traders on Edinburgh’s George Street are contesting the return of the Spiegelterrace as part of the Edinburgh Fringe because they claim it will cost them thousands of pounds in business at one of the busiest times of year. (Herald page 4)


Currency: A survey of opinions by the Treasury is expected to reveal that an independent Scotland might require its own currency or be forced to join the Euro. (Herald page 6 )   


Retail Performance: Cold weather has been blamed for a 3.8% drop in footfall in Scottish shops compared with March last year. (Herald page 9, Daily Mail page 21)


Retirement: Employees will have to work until the age of 70 and employers will have to change their attitude to older workers because Britain is running out of workers according to the Pensions Minister Steve Webb. (Telegraph page 1)


National Debt: The Scottish Government has predicted that Scotland’s share of debt after independence could be lower once historical tax contributions are taken into account (Record page 2, Sunday Times page 7, Sunday Herald page 14)


Local Authority

Windfarm: The developer RDS Element Power Limited has appealed to the Scottish Government claiming Perth and Kinross Council failed to make a decision on a new windfarm development within the agreed time limit. (Courier page 6)



Petrol Stations: Petrol stations in Scotland are closing at up to three times the rate of those in the rest of the UK according to figures released by the Petrol Retailers Association. (Herald page 7)



Alcohol: Medical experts have accused Scotland’s drinks lobby of adopting the same tactics as big tobacco firms in their bid to obstruct the SNP’s minimum-pricing law. (Herald page 1)


Kinship Carers: More than 100 family carers who look after children when their parents are unable to do so are launching a campaign against ‘institutionalised discrimination’ by councils and the Scottish Government. (Herald page 10)



Universities: Scottish universities employ dozens of senior academic staff who earn the same or more than the First Minister according to data collected by the National Union of Students. (Herald page 1)


University Access: Glasgow University has reportedly recruited students from private schools as part of a scheme designed to widen access for pupils from deprived communities (Sunday Herald page 21)