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Reform Scotland News: 12 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
Welfare & independence: An expert group set up by the Scottish government to look at delivering a welfare system in an independent Scotland published their report yesterday.  It concluded that there would be a “common interest” in maintaining the existing UK-wide benefits system for a transitional period, up to 2020, following independence, due to the length of time it could take to set up a fully autonomous welfare system in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Nicola McEwen in the Scotsman, Brian Wilson in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 1, Sun page 6, Record page 8, Express page 8, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 6, Courier page 16, P&J page 12)
 
Scottish Tories:
Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments on the education element of Ruth Davidson’s conference speech and considers what can be done to help increase attainment in schools.
 
Britishness:
Stuart MacDonald in the Scotsman argues that the idea that Westminster has ownership of “Britishness” is untrue.
 

Economy
Wages: According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, wages have fallen by more in real terms since the recession began in 2008, than over any other comparable five-year period. (Scotsman page 1, Telegraph page 6)
 
James Crosby: Former HBOS chief executive James Crosby has been formally stripped of his knighthood following his own request to do so.  His request followed a critical parliamentary report into HBOS’ collapse. (Scotsman
page 6, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Sun page 2, Record page 12, Express page 15, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 7)
 
Retail: Figures from the Scottish Retail Consortium have shown that shops in Scotland had an increase in sales of 0.8 per cent in May compared to last year, but lagged behind the UK rate of 3.4 per cent growth. (Scotsman
page 10, Sun page 2)
 
Corporation tax:
Peter Geoghegan in the Scotsman questions the SNP’s policy of cutting corporation tax in an independent Scotland, arguing that as George Osborne has cut corporation tax with little effect on growth in the UK, why would the situation be different in an independent Scotland?
 
Spending plans: Daniel Finkelstein in the Times comments that the decision by Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to accept George Osborne’s spending plans means that the Labour Party will need to come up with more credible policies to fulfil this aim.
 
Inflation:
Martin Wolf in the FT comments that at present there may be a risk that inflation is too low, not too high.
 

Education
Disadvantaged students: Scottish universities are to offer an extra 727 undergraduate places to disadvantaged students as part of the Scottish government’s “widening access” process. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald, Record page 2, Mail page 16)

Justice
Courts: The Scottish Parliament’s justice committee yesterday voted by five votes to four in favour of plans to close 17 courts across Scotland. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 2, Times page 9, Record page 2, Express page 2, Kerry Gill in the Express, Courier page 14, P&J page 11)
 
Sex crimes: Margo MacDonald MSP has called for the seized proceeds of sex crimes to go towards rehabilitating prostitutes. (Herald
page 9)