Reform Scotland News: 30 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.
Scottish currency:
A number of independence supporters have reportedly called for an independent Scotland to adopt its own currency in order to take full control over the economy.  Supporters of a Scottish currency are said to include former SNP deputy leader Jim Fairlie, former SNP leader Gordon Wilson and Scottish Socialist leader Colin Fox. (Scotsman
page 1, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Sun page 6, Times page 4, Record page 2, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 6, P&J page 12)
Childcare costs: 41 per cent of families in Scotland could miss out on the coalition’s proposed tax-free childcare voucher because it is not available to families where both parents work and there is only one child or to families where only one parent works. (Scotsman
page 1)
Donation: Lord Ashdown has reportedly accused the Better Together campaign of naivety in accepting a donation of £500,000 from Ian Taylor, who is president of Vitol, an oil company which has been accused of making payments to a war criminal and corrupt politicians. (Herald page 1)
Government credit card: Michael Moore’s special advisor, Euan Roddin, has been criticised by Labour MP Gordon Banks for using his government credit card 12 times for accommodation and travel. (Herald
page 1 )
Anti-bigotry funding: Concerns have been expressed about the millions being spent on anti-bigotry projects in Scotland after it emerged that the government’s advisory group will not be ready to publish its expert advice on funding until the end of the year. (Herald
page 6)
Universal credit:  The Universal Credit, which will replace a number of benefits including jobseeker’s allowance, income support and tax credit, was introduced into four job centres in Ashton-under-Lyne yesterday.  (Scotsman page 5,
Keith Anderson in the Scotsman, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Mail page 2)
Universal benefits: Ed Miliband has reportedly indicated that the Labour Party is reviewing the issue of benefits, such as winter fuel allowance, which go to all pensioners including those who are wealthy. (Scotsman
page 10, David Maddox in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Colette Douglas Home in the Herald, Courier page 16)
Miliband interview: In an interview yesterday, Ed Miliband reportedly struggled to explain how Labour would avoid a rise in borrowing if they were in government. (Times page 1, Peter Kellner in the Times, FT
page 2, Telegraph page 4, Express, Mail page 4, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian)
Regeneration fund
: Nicola Sturgeon yesterday launched a £25m Regeneration Capital Grant Fund which will provide financial support to initiatives providing “large-scale positive improvements” to deprived areas. (Herald
page 6, Sun page 2, Record page 2)
New Forth bridge:
  The Scottish public will be able to vote on the name of the new Forth bridge from a choice of five: Caledonia Bridge; Firth of Forth Crossing; Queensferry Crossing; Saltire Crossing; and St Margaret’s Crossing. (Scotsman
page 3, Herald page 8, Times page 4, Express, Mail page 12, P&J page 14, Courier page 1)

Local government

: Officials at Scottish Borders Housing Association are reportedly presiding over a culture of fear and threats according to a whistle blower.  One in five respondents to a survey of stress among employees said that the organisation was run under a “climate of bullying set from the top”.  (Scotsman
page 14)


University governance: The presidents of students’ associations at a number of Scottish universities have written to the Scottish Parliament’s education committee calling for the new university governance code to be re-written to ensure that students are “genuine and meaningful partners in university governance”. (Scotsman
page 18, Herald page 8)
Three-year degree:
Jeremy Peat, director of the David Hume Institute, has commented that a more intensive three-year university degree would save money and get graduates into the workforce quicker. (Herald
page 2)