Reform Scotland News: 8 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

Politics

Scottish Secretary: Nick Clegg yesterday sacked Michael Moore from his position as Scottish Secretary, replacing him with Alistair Carmichael.   Nick Clegg also appointed Norman Baker as a minister of state at the Home Office, replacing Jeremy Browne.   (Scotsman page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Andrew Nicoll in the Sun, Express page 2, Times page 1, Herald page 1 and Michael Settle in the Herald, Record, page 8, Telegraph, page 1, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 1, Courier page 14, P&J)

 

Conservative reshuffle: David Cameron’s reshuffle saw a number of women and MPs from the north of England promoted including Esther McVey, Anna Soubry and Sajid Javid. (Express page 2, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, page 14 FT page 2, Guardian page 14)

 

Labour reshuffle: Jim Murphy has been demoted from shadow defence secretary to the international development brief. Former shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg and shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne were also demoted in the Labour reshuffle.  The changes led some to suggest that Ed Miliband’s reshuffle was a “cull of Blairites”. (Scotsman page 5, Sun page 2, Express page 2, Times page 7, Herald page 6, Guardian page 1, Polly Toybnee in the Guardian, Courier page 14)

 

Philip Hammond: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to make a speech in Edinburgh today where he will describe defence plans for an independent Scotland as “insultingly vague”.  (Scotsman page 7, Sun page 2, Herald page 6)

 

Child benefit: Parents face steep fines on top of losing child benefit if they have failed to register on time for their tax return.  Revenue & Customs have said that they believe 165,000 parents who earn more than £50,000 and have carried on receiving child benefit have failed to register for a self-assessment tax return by 5 October. (Times page 1)

 

Tartan Trouser Tax: Following a trip to China, Alex Salmond reportedly charged the taxpayer £250 for a pair of tartan trousers and only paid this back following a Freedom of Information request. (Telegraph page 8, Record page 2)

 Economy

Scottish fiscal office: The OECD told Holyrood’s finance committee that the new stand-alone economic watchdog body to be set up in Scotland must be free from political interference, both “real and perceived”. (Scotsman page 6)

 

RBS: George Osborne has reportedly sought approval from the EU over his plans for the partial privatisation of RBS. (Scotsman page 12)

 

Energy prices: David Cameron says Ed Milliband ‘struck a chord’ with voters by promising to freeze energy prices but insisted that the Coalition’s wider economic policy was the ‘best way to address the cost of living.’ (Telegraph page 2)

 

 

Blackouts: The National Grid’s Winter Outlook report has stated that reserves stand at just five per cent, almost half last year’s level, meaning that the UK faces a “real risk” if blackouts this winter. (Express page 4, Times page 2, Record page 6, Telegraph page 2, FT page 4:, Mail page 6, P&J page 16)

 

Housing: Peter Geoghegan in the Scotsman argues that more houses, rather than help-to-buy-schemes which will push up house prices, are needed to help address problems in the housing market.

 

Grangemouth Refinery: A ballot in favour of strike action could mean that the dispute in Grangemouth could last another fortnight.  (Herald page 2)

 

Oil in an Independent Scotland: Abdalla Salem el-Badri, Opec’s Secretary General told the Telegraph ‘that an independent Scotland would be “unthinkable” and most of its oilfields were “depleted.”’ (Telegraph page 5)

 

Royal Mail Shares: City forecasts have predicted that every investor who registers before tonight’s deadline will make an instant profit of £250.  However, Chukka Umunna, the Shadow Business Secretary warns that the shares are too cheap. (Telegraph page 1)

 Health

Alcohol cravings: Scotland is the first country in Europe to prescribe a new drug, Nalmefene, proven to reduce cravings for alcohol. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 4, Herald page 11, Record page 6, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 10, Courier page 21)

 

Junior Doctors: David Martin MEP has stated that young medics in a ‘number of mainland Scottish Health Boards’ are working more than 90 hours per week despite the EU Working Time Directive (the Herald page 4 and page 14)

 Education

State guardians: Holyrood’s finance committee has warned that MSPs are “concerned” about the financial plans for introducing state-appointed “guardians” for every child in Scotland. (Scotsman page 14, Express page 10)

Justice

Attacks on emergency workers: Official figures have suggested that an average of 17 emergency workers are attacked every day in Scotland. (Scotsman page 17, P&J page 17)

 

Policing: Wayne Mawson in the Scotsman explains the changes to policing in Scotland and the provision of front-counter services.

Police Scotland: Stefan Morkis and Kieran Andrews in the Courier analyse the first six months of the single Scottish police force.

 

Homeless action plan: Shelter have asked the Scottish Government to set out a 10 year plan on the delivery of homelessness and housing advice services (Herald page 8, Record page 2)

 

Fatal Accident Inquiry System: Matt Jackson in The Herald describes the current system as ‘slow, under funded, and generally prone to missing the point.’ He is concerned that the cuts to legal aid budgets will affect families who should be ‘at the heart of the inquiry process’

Transport

Train driver strike: Scotrail staff have rejected a 6.4% pay increase.  A further ballot due on October 18 may result in all train services in Scotland being suspended. (Herald page 2)