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Reform Scotland News: 29 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
: Economists Jim and Margaret Cuthbert have commented that “it is not feasible that anything approaching independence can emerge from the current referendum”, and describe what is being proposed by the SNP as a “token version”.  They believe that if an independent Scotland keeps the pound, Scotland’s ability to pursue its own taxation policy will be limited. (Scotsman
page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman)
 
Time to Choose: A book edited by Professor Gregor Gall, which includes contributions from left-wing figures’ views on independence, has been published. (
John McAllion, Dave Watson and Colin Fox in the Scotsman)

Same-sex marriage: The Scottish government confirmed yesterday that it will introduce a bill to legislate for same-sex marriage in Scotland within a month. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 3, Times page 14, Mail page 2)
 
Team Scotland: Sir Chris Hoy has reportedly commented that it would take time for athletes from an independent Scotland to match the success they have enjoyed as part of Team GB. (Herald
page 1, Times page 18, Sun page 2, Record page 10, Mail page 1, P&J page 12)
 
“Snoopers” and mansion tax: There are reported warnings that if the Tories were to join with Labour to force through legislation allowing the security services greater powers to examine internet traffic, often referred to as the “snooper’s charter”, the Lib Dems would retaliate by joining with Labour to back a mansion tax which would be applied to all homes worth more than £2m. (Times page 1)
 
Jim McColl:
Brian Wilson in the Scotsman responds to Jim McColl’s support for independence.
 
Economy
Tax and welfare:
George Osborne has reportedly ruled out any tax rises and further welfare cuts ahead of the spending review for 2015-16. It is speculated that Scotland’s block grant could face cuts as the Chancellor tries to find extra savings of £11.5bn. (Scotsman
page 6, Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald, Express page 2, FT page 2, Telegraph page 4, Guardian page 4)
 
Corporation tax: A report published by the SCDI yesterday has suggested that a lower rate of corporation tax in an independent Scotland may not be a priority for businesses due to the UK’s commitment to cut it to 20 per cent by 2015.  The report also suggested that some respondents questioned how the lower Scottish rate would be paid for. (Scotsman
page 12, Andrew Goudie in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 14, Express page 8, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 8, Courier page 2, P&J page 8)
 
Bedroom tax: Professor Alan Miller yesterday told the Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee that the bedroom tax was illegal under the Human Rights Act. (Sun
page 2, Record page 10)
 
Health
Smoking in cars
: Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume yesterday launched a consultation on plans to introduce a private member’s bill to ban people from smoking in their car if there are children on board. (Scotsman
page 1, James Cant and Simon Clark in the Scotsman, Herald page 7, Times page 18, Sun page 2, Express page 4, Mail page 3, Courier page 18, P&J page 12)
 
A&E: A report published by the Royal College of Nursing has said that hospitals don’t have enough staff to deal with the growing pressures facing A&E departments. Official figures have also highlighted that in January this year one in ten patients waited longer than four hours in A&E to be treated, the worst figures since the records began six years ago. (Scotsman
page 18, Herald page 4, Sun page 2, Record page 18, Telegraph page 7, Mail page 1, Courier page 14)
 
Agency nurses: Bank and agency nursing staff filled more than 7.1 million ward hours in 2012-13, a million higher than the previous year and at a cost of £14million. (Scotsman
page 18)
 
Pay delay: A 1 per cent pay increase promised to 155,000 NHS staff in Scotland that was due on April 1st has reportedly been subject to further delays. (Herald
page 1)