Reform Scotland News: 11 June 2013

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 11 June 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: A Scottish Government commissioned report has reportedly stated that an independent Scotland would have more than enough dedicated infrastructure and personnel to deliver pensions and other welfare benefits. Capability Scotland has also reportedly claimed that the UK government’s changes to benefits for disabled people could have a catastrophic impact on the economy. (Scotsman Page 20, Herald Page 2)

UK Passports: Theresa May has warned that Scots could be forced to hand over their British passports and be barred from holding dual nationality with the UK if Scotland becomes an independent country. (Herald Page 3, Scotsman Page 1)

Social Mobility: Alan Milburn, chairmen of the UK government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, has reportedly claimed that more must be done in Scotland to improve social mobility. (Herald Page 6)

North Sea Oil: The UK government has announced that the biggest independent review of the North Sea oil and gas industry in its history will take place. Sir Ian Wood, the former head of the Aberdeen based energy company the Wood group, will head the review in an attempt to unlock the potential of Britain’s remaining offshore reserves. (Scotsman Page 11, Herald Page 4, P&G Page 1)

SNP: Peter Jones in the Scotsman has commented that while SNP members coalesce around the principle of independence, defining the nuts and bolts of what actually constitutes a state of independence is a lot harder.  As a result, the party is likely to face future problems as members disagree on matters like NATO and a Scottish currency.

Economy

House Sales: The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found that house sales are expected to continue to rise over the next three months following an upturn in inquiries from new buyers. (Herald Page 1)

Education

Universities: Edinburgh University has reportedly found universities remain as socially unequal as they were in the mid-1990’s, despite the abolishment of tuition fees and attempts to encourage participation from more deprived areas. (Scotsman Page 4, Herald Page 8)

Schools: The Rev David Robertson, minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, has reportedly urged the Scottish government to allow churches and secular groups to run their own state schools which he believes would give parents real choices over their children’s education. (Herald Page 11, Times Page 1, Courier Page 2)

Health

Overflowing Hospitals: It has been reported that emergency beds used to help the NHS cope with the high amount of patients in winter are now being used all year round because regular hospital wards are overflowing. (Herald Page 1)

Doctors: It has been reported that the Glasgow Local Medical Committee, which represents GPs, has complained to the Scottish Parliament about doctors having less time for patients because they are being swamped with paperwork for people having their benefits reviewed. (Record Page 8)

Justice

Courts: It has been reported that Scotland’s three main opposition leaders have called on Holyrood’s justice committee to reject a series of planned court closures ahead of a crunch vote today. The committee is due to decide whether 10 sheriff courts and 7 district courts should be closed to save money. (Herald Page 2, Scotsman Page 14)

Voting: George McGeoch, a convicted murderer, has launched an appeal at the UK’s highest court over the right to vote while in jail. McGeoch challenged this ban on prisoner voting at a hearing of the Supreme Court days after MSPs rejected moves to allow some inmates to vote in the independence referendum. (Scotsman Page 15)