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Reform Scotland News: 18 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.

Politics

Baroness Thatcher’s funeral: Comment and analysis following Margaret Thatcher’s funeral yesterday. (Scotsman page 1, Stephen McGinty in the Scotsman, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Shan Ross in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Michael Settle in the Herald, Cate Devine in the Herald, Alison Rowat in the  Herald, Record page 6, Torcuil Crichton in the Record, Times page 1, Valentine Low in the Times, Matthew Paris in the Times, Frank Field in the Times, Michael Bates in the Times, Express page 1, Anna Pukas in the Express, Sun page 1, Jeremy Clarkson in the Sun, Ruth Davidson in the Sun, Telegraph page 1, Elizabeth Grice in the Telegraph, Allison Pearson in the Telegraph, Christopher Howse in the Telegraph, Sue Cameron in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, Iain Martin in the Telegraph, FT page 1, Mail page 1, Paul Harris in the Mail, Guardian page 1, Martin Kettle in the Guardian, P&J page 10, Courier page 14)

Currency discussions: The SNP has reportedly accused the UK coalition government of blocking pre-referendum talks on how an independent Scotland could share sterling. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6, P&J page 17)

Tax powers: A key report is expected to be presented to the Scottish Labour Party conference calling for the Scottish Parliament to be given full control of income tax as well as some other taxes including air passenger duty and vehicle excise duty. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 6, Times page 16)

Moral judgements: Michael Fry in the Scotsman argues that Alex Salmond is wrong to assert that government can and should be the maker of morality and form its citizens’ personal moral judgements for them.

Welfare: Anne Johnstone in the Herald comments on how Labour should tackle the problem of low pay.

Ed Miliband: Maurice Glasman in the Guardian argues that Ed Miliband is right to ignore Tony Blair’s advice to return to the old centre ground.

Independence plans: John Kay in the P&J comments that keeping sterling and encouraging entrepreneurialism after independence may not be as straight forward as claimed.

Economy

Unemployment: Official figures published yesterday showed that the number of jobless people in Scotland fell by 11,000 to 197,000 between December and February.  As a result the jobless rate in Scotland is 7.3 per cent, below the UK-wide average of 7.9 per cent.   Figures indicated that GDP in Scotland also increased by 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2012. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 10, Record page 2, Express page 16, Sun page 8, FT page 2, Mail page 22, Courier page 18)

50p tax rate: Nicola Sturgeon reportedly suggested yesterday that an independent Scotland would re-introduce the 50p tax rate. (Express page 10, Mail page 27)

Scottish taxes: According to estimates provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the new Scottish rate of income tax is predicted to provide £650m less in its first year than was previously predicted due to lower than expected receipts from the self-employed and company directors. (Telegraph page 27, Courier page 19)

Health

Derek Feeley: The chief executive of NHS Scotland is to leave his position to take up a new role in the USA.  Mr Feeley recently faced questioning over manipulated NHS waiting lists. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 2, Record page 2, Express page 26, Telegraph page 25, Mail page 30)