Reform Scotland News 4 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


Class: The BBC’s online Great British Class Survey has suggested that there are now seven, rather than three, social classes in the UK ranging from ‘elite’ to ‘precariat’. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 14, Times page 7, Express page 7, Guardian page 9, James Delingpole in the Telegraph, Mail page 10, Courier page 20)


Women’s pensions: It is estimated that 720,000 women across the UK born between 1951 and 1953 will lose out under plans to fast-track a £144-a-week flat-rate pension because they will not be eligible for payments. (Herald page 3, Times page 17)


Pensions: David Davidson in the Scotsman argues that the affordability of public sector pensions is getting out of control and that both governments and trade unions need to accept this and agree on a realistic plan of action.


Welfare reform: Alex Massie in the Scotsman argues that public opinion supports the coalition government’s attempts to reform welfare and cut public spending. Anne Johnstone in the Herald argues that the Philpott case has diverted attention from welfare reform. Leo McKinstry in the Express argues that the opposition to welfare reform has turned into a personal campaign against the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith


Trident: David Cameron has warned that it would be “foolish” for the UK to consider abandoning Trident as we face an increased threat of nuclear attack from regimes such as North Korea. (Telegraph page 1, David Cameron in the Telegraph)


Energy fine: Energy firm SSE was fined a record £10.5million by Ofgem yesterday after the company was found guilty of “prolonger and extensive” mis-selling.   E.ON, nPower and Scottish Power are all currently being investigated by Ofgem and EDF Energy was fined £4.5m in March. (Scotsman page 1, Norman Kerr in the Scotsman, Record page 8, FT page 3, Herald page 11, Iain MacWhirter in the Herald, Sun page 1 and 2, Express page 1 and 2, Press and Journal page 17, Mail page 1, Courier page 13)


Wind turbines:  Proposals to protect Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes from wind turbines are reportedly being put together by the Scottish government. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 2, Herald page 4, Express page 2, Press and Journal page 15, Telegraph page 9, Courier page 19)


Scottish shipyards: The UK government has suggested that up to 4,000 jobs could be lost at Scottish shipyards if Scotland becomes independent as UK warships would be built elsewhere. (Scotsman page 8, FT page 4, Herald page 1, Michael Settle in the Herald, Times page 8, Sun page 2, Press and Journal page 14, Mail page 8, Courier page 18)


HBOS: A UK government report due to be published tomorrow will reportedly claim the final cost of bailing out Halifax Bank of Scotland was almost £30billion. It is also expected to single out senior management figures for criticism. (Herald page 7)


Scottish Economy: The latest Bank of Scotland Business Monitor showed slight improvement in the Scottish economy (Times page 8)


Inflation: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that increased quantitative easing could lead to greater inflation.


Costs to inmates: According to information published by the Scottish Prison Service, prison inmates can reportedly buy products in prison shops for a lower price than the public could in Tesco. (Record page 1, Mail page 12)


FAI Reform: There are calls for changes to be made to Scotland’s system of fatal accident inquires after the formal inquest into the death of a patient took six years to complete. (Herald page 1)

Local government

Crematorium Investigation: Aberdeen City Council has launched an independent audit of child cremations carried out by Hazelhead Crematorium amid fears that parents may have been misled about what happened to their children’s ashes. (Press and Journal page 1 and 3)


New Forth Bridge: The foundations for the central tower of the new Forth Bridge have been completed. Transport Minister Keith Brown described this as ‘a significant milestone’. (Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 15)


Care of the Elderly: A pilot scheme trialled in North Lanarkshire has shown that elderly patients treated at home rather than in hospital had better survival rates. (Herald, page 8)