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Reform Scotland News: 19 November 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

Former MP could face jail: Former Labour MP Dennis MacShane has pled guilty to fiddling his own expenses of up to £13,000 (Scotsman page 1, Record page 12, Herald page 6, Express page 2, Telegraph page 5, Times page 13, Courier page 19, P&J page 18, Guardian page 5, Mail page 6)

Increased taxation in an Independent Scotland: The Institute for Fiscal Studies has advised Scotland would need to cut spending or raise taxes if it was to become an independent country (Scotsman page 1, Record page 2, Herald page 6, Express page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, P&J page 14, Guardian page 15, Mail page 1)

Welfare in an Independent Scotland: Dr Robert Black argues in the Herald that as Scotland spends £21 billion a year on social protection we need to ‘scrutinise the future of welfare in an independent Scotland’

Westminster has lost Scotland £900 per person: Finance Secretary John Swinney has argued that economic management from London has “seen Scotland lose out on significant opportunities for growth, job creation and increased wealth that could have transformed Scotland’s economy and reduced inequality.” (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6, P&J page 14)

UK Government to target non-voters: Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has revealed that the ‘No Campaign’ will target those voters who feel they have nothing to gain from voting in the referendum (Herald page 1)

Former Co-operative Bank Chairman suspended from the Labour Party: Paul Flowers has been suspended from the Labour Party surrounding allegations he was caught buying and using illegal drugs (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Herald page 9, Telegraph page 1, Times page 6, Mail page 10)

Church of Scotland split: Stornoway congregation has voted overwhelmingly in favour of splitting with the kirk over the issue of gay clergy (Scotsman page 14)

Introduction of the Oligarch Tax: It is speculated that George Osborne will introduce a tax on wealthy foreigners who have reportedly forced up high end property prices in the UK (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1)

Phone Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks reportedly did not authorise payments to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 5, Express page 9, Times page 13)

Go Home Campaign to be turned into research: Glasgow University has taken on an 18 month research project to determine the impact this campaign had on migrant communities (Herald page 9)

Clegg calls Conservatives wanting to leave the EU Unpatriotic: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said he is ‘relishing the opportunity to make the patriotic case for continued membership’ (Telegraph page 12, Herald page 6, P&J page 20)

Economy

Credit Unions at Christmas: The Scottish Government’s 12 Days of Debtness Campaign will raise awareness of credit unions amid reports of dramatic increases in debts from payday loan companies (Scotsman page 18, Sun page 2, Record page 13, Herald page 10, P&J page 11)

Free Enterprise Group propose VAT on food and children’s clothing: The Free Enterprise Group of Tory MPs has called for VAT exemptions to be replaced with a 15% charge that would apply to all purchases (Record page 4)

Energy Complaints: N-Power has received the highest number of complaints out of the Big Six as a result of increased prices and poor customer service (Herald page 5)

Which? Campaigns against ‘Dodgy Discounts’ at Supermarkets: Consumer group Which? has discovered supermarkets are still offering misleading discounts despite Government guidance (Scotsman page 9, Record page 4, Times page 11)

Education

Child Porn: Google and Microsoft will reportedly block internet searches on child abuse (Scotsman page 13, Record page 6, Herald page 11, Telegraph page 4, Times page 4, Courier page 16)

School Closures: Council leaders have reportedly criticised Michael Russell over plans to make it harder to close rural schools (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 2, Times page 2, P&J page 15, Mail page 6 

Health

Alcoholics targeted to eradicate TB: Up to 10% of TB cases are from patients who abuse alcohol, with Glasgow having the highest number of TB Cases and highest alcohol related deaths in Scotland (Scotsman page 20).  Scotland has also been urged to take part in the world’s biggest drugs survey (Herald page 10)

Health Secretary backs Hospital Future: Alex Neil has vowed to protect Scotland’s only Homeopathic Hospital from closure (Herald page 2)

Justice

Confidence in Police: Labour Justice Spokesman Graeme Pearson has said the reduced public confidence in the police is due to targets that pressurise officers to ‘take actions which ordinarily they would not’ (Record page 8, Herald page 4, Express page 10)

Victims and Witnesses Bill: Some members of the Justice Committee would reportedly like the Victims and Witnesses Bill amended to include a personal visit to victims to explain when a perpetrator is going to be released (Herald page 9)

Local Government

U-Turn on library Closures: Following the threat of legal action, Moray Council has reduced the number of libraries they were planning on closing from seven to four (Scotsman page 18)

City of Culture: Dundee will find out tomorrow if it has been successful in its bid (Record page 10, Courier page 2)