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Reform Scotland News 13 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

 

Liberal Democrats: An investigation has criticised the deputy prime minster Nick Clegg and two Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs for failing to properly investigate claims of sexual harassment made against former party chief executive Lord Rennard. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 1, sun page 2, Record page 2, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 7, Mail page 8, Press and Journal page 18)

 

United With Labour: Natalie McGarry in today’s Scotsman believes the creation of United With Labour is indicative of organisational discontent within the No campaign. She argues the failures of Better Together have been highlighted and the two campaigns are now competing with each other.

 

Tom Harris: Glasgow Labour MP Tom Harris has announced his resignation from Labour’s frontbench saying he wants to spend more time with his family.  (Herald page 3, Sun page 2, Record page 2, Mail page 4)

 

Economy

 

RBS: Stephen Hester, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, announced his resignation on Wednesday evening. He will stand down at the end of the year and prior to the privatisation of the bank which is expected to begin in 2014. The surprise move prompted speculation about possible clashes with the Treasury. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Sun page 4, Financial Times page 1, Record page 8, Telegraph page 1, Express page 2, Guardian page 1, Mail page 1, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 21)

 

Growth forecast: In its latest assessment of the state of the Scottish economy, the Fraser of Allander Institute has noted signs of ‘anaemic’ recovery from recession. The report predicted growth would be just over 2 per cent in 2015 and recommended that UK ministers should find fresh spending for infrastructure projects. It was also revealed that the number of Scots in work had reached a four year high according to official figures. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 7, Sun page 14, Telegraph page 14, Express page 2, Mail page 20, Courier page 14)

 

Bill Jamieson writing in the Scotsman notes the economic outlook has improved considerably since the turn of the year but contends the situation might be altered by the first new piece of bad news. Iain MacWhirter highlights the fact that improved Scottish employment figures have not resulted in a similar improvement in retail figures. He attributes this to the squeeze on wages revealed by the Institutes for Fiscal Studies.  

 

Oil Reserves: An independent Scotland would have to use its oil and gas reserves to plug a public spending hole of £1,000 more per head of population than the rest of the UK, according to the deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. (Scotsman page 9)

 

Google: The House of Common’s Public Accounts Committee has called on HMRC to ‘fully investigate’ Google’s tax arrangements in a report critical of the company’s corporation tax avoidance. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 7, Sun page 2, Financial Times page 3, Guardian page 2, Mail page 12, Courier page 16) 

 

Justice

 

SPA resignations: The interim chief executive and two directors have resigned from the board of the Scottish Police Authority, the body charged with overseeing Scotland’s new national police force. (Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 2, Express page 1, Mail page 24, Press and Journal page 15, Courier page 13)

 

Justice Committee: Alan Cochrane writing in the Telegraph argues the flaws in the Scottish Parliament’s committee system were highlighted when nationalist MSPs voted against the interests of their constituents and in favour of the SNP’s plans to close 10 sheriff and seven Justice of the Peace Courts. 

 

Health

 

Cancer Support: The charity Macmillan Cancer Support has claimed too many Scottish cancer patients feel abandoned after finishing their treatment. The claim came as it announced a new £5 million project aimed at supporting patients once their treatment is complete. (Scotsman page 19)

 

Education

University Graduates: A new survey conducted by the UK Graduate Careers Survey has found that students leaving Scottish universities are among the most pessimistic in the UK about their chances of finding a graduate position. Fewer than 40 per cent of final-year students at Glasgow, St Andrews and Edinburgh expected this to be the case; the survey average was 44 per cent. (Scotsman page 18)

 

UCU Criticism: The university branch of the UCU lecturers’ union has criticised the disciplinary procedures operated by Glasgow University and called on the institution to eliminate misogyny after two students were cleared of sexist heckling of two debaters. (Herald page 3)

 

School Closures: Plans for the introduction of an independent body to take controversial decisions on school closures are being considered by the Scottish Government. Under the current system, ministers are responsible for reviewing unpopular decisions taken by councils. (Herald page 5)   

 

Transport

 

Network Rail Cuts: Network Rail has been instructed by the Office of Rail Regulation to find £200 million of savings to bring its Scottish budget down to £4.1 billion. The regulator believes improved management and new technology will play a large part in bringing down costs. (Scotsman page 14, Guardian page 6)