Reform Scotland News: 20 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.

MoD compensation claims: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that damage claims could be launched against the MoD under legislation covering negligence and human rights.  Lawyers representing families of soldiers killed and injured in Iraq have said that the MoD owed a duty of care to properly equip servicemen and women. (Scotsman page 4, Herald 
page 2, Times page 4, Frank Ledwidge in The Times, Daily Record page 10, Guardian page 2, P&J page 22, Sun page 2, Express page 7, Telegraph page 6, Mail page 6)
John Kay: In a speech last night Professor John Kay argued that Scotland would thrive after independence and claimed Scotland was the wealthiest part of the UK outside of London and the South-East of England. (Scotsman 
page 8, Times page 14)
Public spending: A report produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) states that public spending in Scotland increased from £31.8bn in 1998/99 to £64.5bn in 2011/12.  If North Sea oil is taken into account, this reportedly puts spending at 42.7% of Scotland’s economy.  The figure for the UK as a whole is 45.5%. (Scotsman page 12, Express 
page 2, Kerry Gill in the Express)
Nigel Evans: Tory MP Nigel Evans has been re-arrested over a further three counts of indecent assault. (Scotsman page 22, Times page 8, Daily Record page 14, Guardian 
page 5, P&J page 16, Sun page 6, Express page 13, Telegraph page 12, Mail page 20, Courier page 25)
Yes Campaign: Alex Salmond has told the New Statesman that the campaign over Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum ‘has not yet begun’, and that the yes campaign can still win next year’s vote. He has called the current campaign a ‘phony war’ and has claimed that the no campaign will soon run out of steam. (Herald 
page 1, Times page 15, Daily Record page 2, Telegraph page 1)
William Hague: Speaking in Edinburgh today, Foreign Secretary William Hague will say that an independent Scotland would be less safe and more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. (Herald 
page 2, P&J page 13, Express page 10, Mail page 12, Courier page 16
Babies’ Ashes Scandal: Campaigners seeking a public inquiry into the mishandling of babies’ ashes in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk and Aberdeen have claimed that Alex Salmond ‘refused’ to attend a meeting with them at the Scottish Parliament. (Herald 
page 4, Times page 23, Daily Record page 11, P&J page 15
Donside by-election: The Donside by-election is taking place today.  The election is being held following the death of MSP Brian Adam in April.  The SNP is defending a majority of 7,000. (Scotsman page 15, Herald 
page 6, P&J page 9,
Crown Dependencies: 
David Torrance in the Scotsman looks at the governance structures of the UK’s Crown Dependencies and considers how those structures can inform the Scottish constitutional debate.
Fiscal powers: 
Simon Howie in the Scotsman argues that Scottish Parliament needs greater fiscal powers to help attract inward investment, whether by devolving greater powers or independence.
Mansion House speech:  In his Mansion House speech yesterday, George Osborne said that the government would “urgently review” the recommendation from the UK parliament’s banking commission to split RBS into a “good bank” and a “bad bank”.  It is also reported that the Chancellor hinted that the government would start selling of its stake in Lloyds before the general election. (Scotsman 
page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 2, Daily Record page 2, Guardian page 1, Sun page 4, FT page 1Jennifer Thompson & Patrick Jenkins in the FT, Chris Giles in the FT, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 2, Courier page 20)
New Banking Legislation: The Coalition Government will introduce new legislation that could see reckless bankers jailed and their bonuses returned, following recommendations from the Banking Commission. (Herald 
page 6Iain MacWhirter in The Herald, Joris Luyendijk in The Guardian, P&J page 17)
Ian Livingston: Scottish businessman Ian Livingston will leave his position as chief executive of BT to become an unpaid trade minister, following a personal plea by David Cameron. (Herald 
page 1, Guardian page 7)
Financial services jobs: UK Economic Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday told the Scottish affairs select committee that thousands of financial services jobs in Scotland could go if the country voted for independence because companies would want to move to where most of their business was based. (Scotsman 
page 5)
Labour market: According to a report from PwC, UK employment is predicted to rise by more than 850,000 by 2018, but wage growth would be sluggish. (Scotsman 
page 13
Hearts: Alex Salmond has backed Heart of Midlothian Football Club to survive their current financial difficulties, and highlighted the Edinburgh club’s important contribution to the city’s economy. (Herald 
page 4, Times page 9, Sun page 1)
Scottish Wildlife: The Scottish Government has released a report outlining the environmental and economic benefits of nature, claiming that the nation’s wildlife and environment is worth £21.5billion a year to the national economy. Plans to protect biodiversity have also been announced. (Times page 9)
Middle-East Investment: Financiers in wealthy middle-eastern nations are looking to invest in Scottish infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals and renewable energy schemes. This is expected to be announced at a conference in Edinburgh, organised by the Islamic Finance Council. (Times page 20)
Right to training or a job: Alex Salmond is expected to say today that under the constitution of an independent Scotland, every 16 to 19 year-old would have the right to a job or a training place. (Mail page 4)
Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments that small and medium-sized enterprises could help the economy grow again.
Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments that Finance Secretary John Swinney needs to be more honest about what would happen to pensions in Scotland following independence.

Local government
Island councils: 
Tavish Scott in the Scotsman argues that too much power has been centralised in Edinburgh and that island councils want policies and powers that recognise their difference.

New Bike Strategy: Scottish transport minister Keith Brown has announced plans to boost cycling by reducing speed limits to 20mph in all residential areas. This action is part of a larger plan to ensure that by 2020, 10% of all journeys in Scotland are made by bike. (Herald page 8, Times page 17, Daily Record page 2)

NHS in Scotland: 
Helen Puttick in the Herald comments on the annual representative meeting of the British Medical Association, which is to take place in Edinburgh despite the many differences between the NHS in Scotland and England.
Understanding the world of work: Sir Ian Wood, who is heading up a commission looking at youth unemployment in Scotland, has reportedly called for a culture change in the way youngsters are prepared for the world of work. (Scotsman 
page 13, Daily Record page 2, P&J page 12, Telegraph page 11)