Reform Scotland News: 23 April 2013

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 23 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

Orange Order: The Orange Order have reportedly applied to join community councils and they are involved in a series of road shows in Glasgow to lobby councillors to get involved in the ‘No’ bid for Scottish independence. (Herald Page 1)

Currency: The coalition government have warned that the rest of the UK could veto a currency union with an independent Scotland because economically it could be too risky. This is in response to the Scottish Government publishing its own findings that a monetary union between the UK and Scotland would be the best option for independence. (Herald Page 6, Scotsman Page 1, Record Page 6, Telegraph Page 1, Times Page 12, Financial Times Page 2, Mail Page 6, P&G Page 11, Courier Page 19)

Finance Secretary: John Swinney, the finance secretary, has challenged opponent’s claims that an independent Scotland would face monetary policy and fiscal constraints. He insists that a sterling zone would give an independent Scotland the powers and flexibility it needs. (Scotsman Page 4, Sun Page 2)

Press regulation: The Scottish Government are prepared for Scottish newspapers to be included in a UK-wide system of press regulation. A series of technical amendments have been proposed to give Westminster’s Royal Charter force in Scotland. (Herald Page 6, Scotsman Page 6)

Economy

HSBC: Douglas Flint, the chairman of HSBC has warned that banks are at risk of excluding less well-off customers as it has become too expensive for the industry to offer advice to many individuals. (Herald Page 3)

Living Standards: A study from the CPPR think tank at Glasgow University predicts that North Sea oil would not spark a sudden rise in living standards in an independent Scotland. (Herald Page 6, Times Page 13, Express Page 10)

Devolving Tax: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments that if Scots were to reject Scottish independence it could cost billions for Holyrood to gain more tax powers as a devolved nation.

Local Government

Council tax: The Scottish government has been urged by a number leading academics to increase the council tax for bigger homes, pointing out that all homes worth more than £212,000 share the same top band for council tax, a figure which has remained unchanged since the original valuations in 1991.  The academics believe this could be used to ease the impact of the planned bedroom tax on vulnerable households. (Herald Page 1)

Perth and Kinross: A ten year community plan for the future development of Perth and Kinross has been released. The proposal is trying to prevent unemployment, crime and drug misuse by creating up to 600 jobs each year. (Courier Page 4)

Health

Scottish hospital patients: The General Medical Council have urged Scottish patients to report breaches of care by doctors in hospitals or general practice. (Herald Page 3) Only three in ten nurses in Scotland believe that management take their concerns seriously and more support is needed for whistleblowers. (Scotsman Page 14, Guardian Page 6, Mail Page 6)

Immunisation Programme: Glasgow nurses have warned that the demand for a new immunisation programme in schools could push health staff to breaking point. School nurses will be asked to deliver the flu vaccine to 157,000 primary schools over an eight to ten week period. (Herald Page 10)

Education

Abertay: Mark Batho, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, who has reportedly been accused of trying to force two Scottish universities to merge, has been appointed as vice-principle of Abertay University in Dundee. (Herald Page 5)

Scots Universities: Four Scottish Universities have reached the top 100 in the Leiden rankings, measuring the scientific impact of higher education institutions. St Andrews university took 47th position, Dundee university took 79th position, Edinburgh university ranked 84th and Aberdeen ranked 91st. (Scotsman Page 16)