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Reform Scotland News: 10 December 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

Clutha Crash: Engine failure has reportedly been ruled out as a cause of the crash, which claimed nine lives in Glasgow.  (Herald page 1, Express page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, P&J page 11, Courier page 22, Mail page 5 and Guardian page 7)

Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major will join David Cameron today at the event in South Africa (Herald page 9, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1,  Express page 2, Scotsman page 8, P&J page 16, Courier page 13 and Guardian page 1)

Yes Vote increased by 3%: An STV/Ipsos Mori poll has recorded that support for Independence has now risen to 34% (Scotsman page 1, Record page 2, Telegraph page 14, Express page 2, Times page 17, Herald page 1 and Sun page 2)

Supermarkets & Indepence: Following speculation that supermarkets may increase prices in Scotland if it was to become independent, a board member of the Yes Campaign has said it would be “great” if Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys left Scotland after independence (Telegraph page 1, Express page 2, Times page 13, Herald page 6, FT page 3, Sun page 2, P&J page 13, Courier page 14 and Mail page 4)

Spanish PM states Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership: Mariano Rajoy has asserted ‘ if part of a country integrated into the EU leaves that country then logically, it would be outside the EU’ (Express page 2 and Herald page 6)

UK will lose its brand if Scotland becomes Independent: Boris Johnson has commented that the rest of Britain will lose its “brand” and be less attractive to incomers, if Scotland becomes independent.  (Scotsman page 18)

MSP pay rises: MSPs are set to opt for a 1% pay rise instead of the planned 11% for MPs (Scotsman page 6, Record page 2, Telegraph page 12, Times page 6, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, P&J page 12 and Courier page 14)

Flagship reforms still on track: Work and Pensions Secretary, Ian Duncan Smith has insisted his reforms are mainly on track despite disclosing that his 2017 target for the full introduction of Universal Credit is going to be missed (Scotsman page 21, Telegraph page 12, Times page 7, FT page 3 and Guardian page 14)

Economy

UK Ministers to oppose Malta’s plans to sell EU passports: Malta’s plans to sell passports for 650,000 euros; giving wealthy foreigners a fast track to citizenship has resulted in a backlash from politicians warning of the dangers to national security  (FT page 1)

Royal Mail pay rise: Royal Mail workers will reportedly receive a 9% pay rise over the next three years.  Royal Mail has also promised not to introduce zero hour contracts (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 5 and FT page 40

1 in 3 people financed last year’s Christmas by credit card: A poll conducted by Experian has found that a fifth of people went over their budget and some defaulted on credit card payments (Scotsman page 12)

Housing Bubble: Experts have warned Scotland is at risk of a housing bubble as the numbers of houses coming on to the market are falling short of the increasing buyer demand (Scotsman page 16 and Herald page 3)

Pension Annuities: An investigation will be made into the “excessive profits” that insurance companies are making from annuities (Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1)

Families are not better off: The Office for Budget Responsibilities has advised it is “inconceivable” that families are better off under the coalition (Telegraph page 4)

Energy firm complaints: Energy firms are poised to take on thousands of extra staff to help deal with complaints and requests to move energy suppliers (Herald page 4)

Logannet Coal power station has been named one of the worst polluters in Europe: The Health and Environment Alliance has said the power station in Kincardine is ‘likely to be significantly affecting the health of the local community’ (Herald page 8)

Education

Outdoor learning: MSPs are meeting with a range of experts today to discuss making outdoor learning an ‘everyday experience’ for pupils (Scotsman page 2)

Extra £6m for PE in schools: An extra £6m will be invested for PE in schools from 2014-2016 whereby the Government will be hoping to capitalise on the enthusiasm gained from the Commonwealth Games (Scotsman page 20 and Herald page 4)

Health

Cancer drug to be introduced in Scotland: The drug zelboraf, which can extend the life of patients with inoperable cancer, has been approved for use by the NHS (Scotsman page 15, Record page 2, Express page 4, Times page 18, Herald page 7 and P&J page 18)

Cheap alcohol is killing 20 Scots a week: A study has reported that 20 Scots a week die from alcohol abuse and 60% of alcohol is sold below the Scottish Government’s proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit (Record page 2,  P&J page 15)

Justice

7 year sentences for forced marriages: Scotland is poised to introduce increased jail terms for forced marriages in line with England and Wales (Scotsman page 14 and Herald page 6)

New information on Lockerbie bomb: Scottish author Dr Morag Kerr has claimed that the Lockerbie bomb originated at Heathrow and not Malta as was previously thought (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 11, P&J page 15 and Courier page 2)

Convictions for rape will not increase through axing corroboration: Professor Peter Duff of Aberdeen University claims that juries will still be faced with a “he says, she says” scenario which will likely result in acquittals (Scotsman page 7)