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Reform Scotland news: 11 March 2014

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 independence: Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for an increase in the tax raised by the Scottish Parliament to 40% of the money it spends, in the event of a No vote. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Herald page 6, Financial Times page 2, Times page 2, Daily Telegraph page 7, Scottish Daily Express page 2, Scottish Sun page 2, Courier page 15, Press & Journal page 12)

Sir Menzies Campbell has argued that in the event of a No vote, a cross-party summit should have to be held within 30 days of the referendum in order to satisfy public demand for greater devolution, (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Financial Times page 2, Daily Record page 2, Scottish Sun page 2, Courier page 14, Press & Journal page 12)

Students from Glasgow Caledonian University have voted against independence in a mock referendum, with a margin of 63% in favour of remaining in the UK and 37% against. (Scotsman page 6, Press & Journal page 12)

Ben Thomson in the Scotsman comments on the benefits of greater devolution for Scotland.

Magnus Gardham in the Herald comments on the interventions of Gordon Brown and Sir Menzies Campbell in the independence debate.

Currency Union: Leading economist Professor Anton Muscatelli, who sat on the Calman Commission, has said that separate currencies could cost UK firms up to £2.5billion in “transaction costs”. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6)

Crimea: Mikhael Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oligarch has suggested Scottish devolution as a blueprint for Crimea. (Herald page 6)

Dounreay plant: the Scottish Government has accused the Ministry of Defence of attempting to cover-up the truth in relation to a nuclear-related incident as the Dounreay plant in Caithness. (Herald page 7, Daily Record page 6, Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record)

Lockerbie bombing: An Al Jazeera documentary has claimed that the Lockerbie bombing was ordered by Iran and carried out by Syrian-based extremists in revenge against America. (Daily Telegraph page 1)

Economics

 Public sector staff: Official figures have revealed that public sector workers in Scotland still earn 1.9% more annually than those who work in the private sector. (Scotsman page 13)

Aberdeen property: According to research from residential property experts Move with Us, Aberdeen has three postcodes which took the lead as the fastest-selling areas in the past year, with properties selling in an average of just 9 days. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 3)

Scottish teachers: A deal has been reached by the Scottish Parliament that will see Scottish teachers receive 1% pay awards for the next two years. (Scotsman page 16)

Oil revenues: Peter Jones comments in the Scotsman on the fall in offshore tax revenues and the effects this could have on independence, as well on Scottish companies and jobs. (Press & Journal page 34)

Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS has claimed that difficulties in attracting and retaining executives and staff could have an adverse affect on its business and future prospects. (Herald page 2)

Health

Alcohol sales: In the last 2 years, the number of people allowed to sell alcohol in Scotland has risen by around 12,000, new Government statistics have shown. (Herald page 5)

NHS and private care: The Scottish Government has given more than £500,000 to a health board to send NHS patients to private hospitals, despite denouncing the practice just weeks ago. (Herald page 9)

 

Future of Pensions in Scotland

There are still some places available for our free event ‘The Future of Pensions in Scotland’ which we are running with Pinsent Masons. It will take place at 2pm on Thursday 13th March and promises to be an interesting discussion with the UK Pensions Minister Steve Web MP, and other leading politicians. Please email Alison.Payne@reformscotland.com for full details, or to reserve a place.