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Reform Scotland News: 28 May 2013

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 28 May 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

Independence: SNP researchers have reportedly claimed that if Scotland was an independent country it would experience a surge in foreign direct investment. The research draws parallels with the Eastern Bloc countries after their split with the former Soviet Union. (Herald Page 2)

Pension Changes: It has been reported that new government reforms will result in 80,000 low income households in Scotland qualifying for a state pension from 2016. Low-paid women are expected to be the main beneficiaries of this government reform. (Herald Page 5, Express Page 2)

American Tourists: The re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014 is reportedly unlikely to attract as many North American visitors as the last Scottish Governments tourism drive. Late changes to the programme have caused difficulties for the US clan association to plan visits. (Herald Page 6, Scotsman Page 19, Telegraph 11, Courier Page 1)

George Osborne:  Ed Balls has reportedly warned that George Osborne’s plans to privatise the state-owned RBS may add billions of pounds to Britain’s deficit. Ed Balls claims the plan is motivated by politics not economics. (Herald Page 6)

Wind Farms: The John Muir Trust have claimed that plans to protect up to a third of Scotland’s countryside do not go far enough. They claim that unspoiled wild land should be officially designated and protected by an outright ban on major development. (Herald Page 7)

Bedroom Tax: The All Scotland Anti Bedroom Tax is to make a final appeal to Glasgow City Council to request a rethink after police and council members raised concerns over a planned protest gathering in George Square. (Herald Page 8)

Smoking: Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume has is to launch a consultation on banning people from smoking in cars when there are children present. (Record Page 2, P&G Page 11) 

Economy

Loan Companies: Payday loan companies have reportedly been criticized for disregarding a code of conduct on responsible lending and leaving families in unmanageable debt. They have been criticized with their high interest rates, poor background checks and claims of harassment. (Herald Page 1)

Young Scots: The Princes Trust has claimed that a quarter of young Scots are aiming to start their own businesses in a reaction to the economic crisis. (Herald Page 3)

House Sales: A report by estate agents Rettie & Co has found that Edinburgh accounts for almost half of all house sales in Scotland worth £1 million and over. (Herald Page 7)

Shops: According to the Retail Futures 2018 report by the Centre for Retail Research, almost one in four stores on Scotland’s high street will close resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. (Scotsman Page 1, Express Page 4, Telegraph Page 6)

Justice

Courts: It had been reported that the sheriff courts will be overloaded with cases and will suffer delays if plans to overhaul the court structure continues. There is a plan to raise the threshold for cases in the Court of Session. (Herald Page 4) The new court reforms will deliver unequal justice favouring the rich and big business over ordinary people the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland have warned. (Scotsman Page 11, Telegraph Page 6, Times Page 9)

Education

Nursery Schools: Lawyers for the Educational Institute of Scotland will aim to ensure nurseries have at least one registered teacher. The biggest teaching union has appealed to the Court of Session claiming that the local authorities plan would leave some nursery schools without any registered teachers. (Herald Page 8, Scotsman Page 10)

School Sin-bins: The Educational Institute of Scotland has warned that sin-bins where disruptive pupils are taken to calm-down are under threat from council cutbacks. (Herald Page 11)

Health

Glasgow Research Facility: It has been reported that councillors are expected to approve a grant towards a centre in Glasgow which will be on the forefront of the fight against disease and illness. The Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre is expected to create hundreds of jobs and boost the cities reputation in medical research. (Herald Page 8)

Stroke Patients: It has been reported that five patients who were seriously disabled by strokes have experienced small signs of recovery due to a Scottish stem-cell therapy trial. (Herald Page 10, Scotsman Page 10, Express Page 4, Telegraph Page 2, Times Page 14, P&G Page 13)