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Reform Scotland News: 29 October 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

Reform Scotland

Pay-as-you-drive: Reform Scotland’s latest report, ‘Pay-as-you-drive: the road to a better future’ is published today.  It calls for fuel duty and vehicle excise duty to be scrapped and replaced with a road pricing system where drivers would pay according to which roads they use and when (Herald page 6, Sun page 1, Scotsman page 14, Scotsman leader, Times page 2, Express page 2, P & J page 13, Courier page 2)

Politics

Grangemouth: Unite official Stephen Deans quit his job at the Grangemouth plant a day before the investigation over allegations he was doing union business in his work time, was due to take place (Herald page 1, Sun, page1, Record page 2, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Financial Times page 3, Telegraph page 1, Express page 1, Guardian page 8, P & J page 16, Courier page 3, Mail page 8)

Falkirk Voting Inquiry: Conservative Party Chairman; Grant Shapps has asked Ed Milliband to ‘open a new inquiry to investigate properly the initial allegations of selection rigging’ (Telegraph page 11)

Independence Taxes: The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) have warned that taxes could rise by 14% in an independent Scotland (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 7, P & J page 12)

SNP visits China: Alex Salmond is leading a trade mission to China to enable Scotland to ‘strengthen its position as an attractive place for Chinese investors’ (Herald page 3, Express page 2)

Scottish Conservatives: Lord Ashcroft in the Scotsman comments on the problems facing the Conservative Party in Scotland.

Hacking Trial: Former newspaper editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are due to go on trial today over allegations of phone hacking (Financial Times page 1, Express page 5, Telegraph page 10, Guardian page 4, P & J page 14, Courier page 22)

Economy

Wind Turbines: RSPB has objected to the application of the Strathy South wind farm (Herald page 5, Mail page 12)

Wind Farm Restrictions: Lord Stephen of Lower Deeside has tabled an amendment in the House of Lords that would mean most large wind farm developers would not need a licence before applying for planning permission (Telegraph page 8)

Energy prices: The big energy companies have reportedly increased prices by 9 per cent but the wholesale of their supplies has risen by only 1.7% (Record page 6, Herald page 5, Times page 4, Financial Times page 2, Telegraph page 10, Guardian page 4, Mail page 1)

Higher wages for workers: Unions are expected to demand higher wages for workers if the recovery gathers pace (Financial Times page 3)

High Street: Retail openings are now beginning to outstrip shop closures (Scotsman page16, Herald page 5)

Third place to be: Scotland has come in third for places to be in the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best Travel 2014’ book (Times page 3, Scotsman page 13, Express page 16, Herald page 7, P & J page 11, Courier page 8, Mail page 12)

Energy Debts: Debt Advisory Scotland has discovered that more than 400,000 Scots cannot afford to pay their energy bills (Express page 1, Sun page 2, Mail page 4)

Green Goals: A report from the Institute for European Environmental Policy has found that Scotland is failing to meet its targets on green goals for the setting new standards on climate and the protection of sealife and wildlife (Guardian page 14)

Health

Mental Health Act: The widow of the 15th Duke of Hamilton has requested the Scottish Parliament change the law on 28 day sections (Telegraph page 6, Mail page 13)

Justice

Police stations: Police Scotland is looking into closing stations to meet its target savings of £139 million (Scotsman page 10, Courier page 12)

Local Government

Glasgow City Council Re-Shuffle: Glasgow SNP leader Graeme Hendry has argued that councillor Matt Kerr has been sacked from his social work portfolio after his mishandling of the introduction of personalisation and pushing through the closures of day centres. (Herald page 2)

Recycling: The national target to recycle half of all household waste has been met by less than one third of councils (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 6, P & J page 8, Courier page 4, Mail Page 2)

Bus concessions for the unemployed: First Glasgow is implementing fare cuts up to 55% for passengers presenting a Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card (Herald page 9)

Transport

HS2 to Scotland: Ministers have suggested the HS2 may extend to Scotland (Telegraph page 12)