Reform Scotland News: 27 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.
 

Economy
Spending review: George Osborne announced the UK government’s spending review yesterday, outlining departmental spending for 2015-16.  There were £11.5bn of savings announced with measures including a new seven-day wait before claiming unemployment benefit; English language test for people claiming jobseekers’ allowance; a “temperature test” to stop ex-pat pensioners claiming winter fuel payments; and a major re-structuring of public sector pay.  The Scottish block grant fell by 1.5 per cent. (Scotsman page 6, John McLaren in the Scotsman, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 1, Record page 8, Sun page 1, Express page 5, FT page 1, George Parker in the FT, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Telegraph page 1, Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph, Peter Oborne in the Telegraph, Mail page 2, Alex Brummer & Simon Heffer in the Mail, Guardian page 1, Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian, Martin Kettle in the Guardian, P&J page 12, Courier page 16) 

Scottish pay rises: The Scottish government has reportedly hinted that it will keep automatic annual pay rises within the public sector in Scotland following George Osborne’s announcement yesterday that that they would be axed in 2015. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 6, Peter Jones in the Times, Kerry Gill in the Express, Telegraph page 6, Mail page 12, P&J page 13)
 
Interest rates: The Bank of England has warned of a “significant” threat from a sharp rise in interest rates for households, banks and financial firms in debt. (Scotsman
page 7, FT page 5, Telegraph page 18, Guardian page 27)
 
Direct Line: Around 2,000 jobs, including 150 in Scotland, at Direct Line are reportedly under threat. (Herald page 2, Sun page 4)
 

Politics
School visit: The Scottish Permanent Secretary, Sir Peter Housden, has reportedly been asked to investigate claims that Alex Salmond made a visit to a school in Aberdeen without the knowledge of the headteacher or council education director. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 6, Times page 11, Sun page 2, Express page 23, Mail page 27, Courier page 18)
 
Equal Marriage: The Equal Marriage Bill is expected to be published by the Scottish government today. (Herald
page 1, Mail page 20)
 
Holyrood: MSPs yesterday voted to change Holyrood’s recess for next year, meaning that the parliament will be closed for four weeks prior to the referendum. (
Tavish Scott in the Scotsman, Express page 2 , Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 6, P&J page 20)
 
Constitution:
Natalie McGarrie in the Scotsman sets out why an independent Scotland should have written constitution.
 
Falkirk Labour:
Robbie Dinwoodie in the Herald comments on the crisis within the Falkirk Labour Party.
 

Local government
Equal pay: A ruling by the Supreme Court yesterday with regard to an equal pay case brought by 251 women against Dumfries and Galloway Council has meant that councils across Scotland could face a £12 million equal pay bill.  The Supreme Court ruled that a man and woman doing work of equal value for the same employer are entitled to the same terms and conditions, even when working in different establishments. The women had argued that they had been denied bonuses payments routinely given to workers in jobs predominantly done by men. (Scotsman page 11, Tony Hadden in the Scotsman, Herald page 3, Times page 11, Record page 10, Express page 4, Mail page 1)

Transport
Queensferry Crossing: It was announced yesterday that the name for the new bridge over the Firth of Forth will be the Queensferry Crossing. The bridge is due to open in 2016. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Times page 19, Express page 11, Telegraph page 15, Mail page 23, P&J page 17, Courier page 3

EasyJet:
EasyJet has reportedly committed to continuing the Inverness to Gatwick air service once Flybe pulls out next year. (Scotsman
page 20, Herald page 4)
 
Potholes: Over the past five years 502 road crashes in Scotland have reportedly been caused by potholes, with four people dying and 44 others seriously injured. (Record
page 1)
 

Health
Homeopathic remedies: NHS Lothian is reportedly withdrawing funding for homeopathic remedies. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1, Express page 2)