Reform Scotland News: 9 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.
Queen’s Speech: 
Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech made reference to the UK government’s hope of keeping Scotland within the UK.  At just seven minutes long, the speech was one of the shortest the Queen has delivered.  Planned legislation includes: an immigration bill aimed at putting more controls on immigration; a National Insurance Contributions bill to cut contributions for small businesses; and a pensions bill to create a single flat rate pension. (Scotsman
page 1,    Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Christine Jardine in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Iain MacWhirter in the Herald, Times page 12, Record page 2, Express page 1, Leo McKinstry in the Express, Sun page 12, FT page 2, Jim Pickard & Kiran Stacey in the FT, Telegraph page 4, James Kirkup in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, Mail page 1, Guardian page 8, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Martin Kettle in the Guardian, P&J page 12, Courier page 14)
Opinion poll: An Ipsos MORI poll for The Times has reported that 31 per cent of Scots who are certain to vote in the referendum said that they would vote yes and 59 per cent would vote no.  The poll also asked about voting intentions for the Scottish Parliament.  This put the SNP on 39 per cent, Labour on 36 per cent, Tories on 16 per cent and Lib Dems on 8 per cent. (Times page 1, Robert Worcester and Mark Diffley in the Times)
Costs in an independent Scotland: A forthcoming Treasury analysis will reportedly suggest that mortgage costs could rise and pension values fall in an independent Scotland. (Times page 7)
Europe: Michael Portillo and Boris Johnson have reportedly both said that the UK should be ready to leave the EU.   Baroness Thatcher’s biographer, Charles Moore, has commented that she also believed that the UK should leave the EU. (Times page 8, Michael Portillo in the Times, Telegraph
page 1)
Nuclear waste: Nuclear safety engineer Dr John Large has reportedly commented that the SNP’s policy for dealing with nuclear waste following independence was “incredibly naive”.  (Express
page 2)
  A YouGov poll has suggested that 66 per cent of Scots think that an independent Scotland should retain the pound, with 15 per cent against. (Herald
page 2)
Iain Gray in the Scotsman comments that the currency of an independent Scotland is important and criticises the SNP for failing to come up with a credible plan.
Green economy:
Vince Cable in the Scotsman outlines the work of the Green Investment Bank.
Construction: Labour market figures from Scotland’s Annual Population Survey have indicated that 62,500 construction jobs have been lost in Scotland since 2008. (Herald
page 11, Sun page 8, Mail page 19)
Alistair Darling in the FT comments that economics, not politics, should dictate the sale of RBS.
Waiting times:
Holyrood’s public audit committee has reportedly been left unable to “draw firm conclusions” on whether waiting times targets led to some patients being marked unavailable for treatment, due to a lack of evidence. (Herald
page 4, Sun page 8, Mail page 8, P&J page 7, Courier page 25)

Domestic abuse:
A written Scottish parliamentary answer has indicated that of 8,869 people convicted of domestic abuse in Scotland in 2011/12, only 1,104 were sent to prison.  Of the others, 2,739 were given a warning, 2,253 a community sentence, 2,683 a fine and 90 were given an absolute discharge. (Scotsman
page 1, Record page 10, Sun page 10)
Labour MSP Hugh Henry has called for a cross party commission on childcare to be set up to work out an affordable way for parents to work and raise children. (Scotsman
page 18)
University code:
Michael Kelly in the Scotsman comments that universities should resist interference from the outside in to how they run elections.
School pranks: The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association’s Midlothian branch has submitted a motion to be discussed at the union’s annual conference tomorrow that pupils who vandalise school property or cause injury as a result of end-of-school pranks should be pursued by the police and the courts. (Herald
page 1)