Reform Scotland News: 14 March 2014


Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  14 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



Independence Referendum: David Cameron will today, addressing the Scottish Conservatives, reject the claims by the SNP that the Better Together campaign is based on scaremongering. He will also bring attention to the concerns by Mark Carney, as well as other business leaders, over independence. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 7, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Sun page 2)


Vince Cable, at Glasgow University yesterday, warned of the risks of major companies, such as Lloyds and RBS, leaving Scotland following a yes vote. Vince Cable claimed that Alex Salmond’s current plan for a currency union, which is being rejected by Labour, Lib Dema and the Conservatives, would potentially be a factor causing these firms to depart Scotland. (Scotsman page 7, Daily Record page 12, Sun page 2)


Alistair Darling is reportedly frustrated that Alex Salmond continues to refuse a live TV debate with him over Scottish Independence. Alex Salmond has said that he will only have debates with members of the Better Together campaign if David Cameron agrees to a debate first. The Prime Minister, however, has ruled this out. (Herald page 6)


A vote involving twenty Muslim women resulted in an eight to five victory in favour of the Yes campaign. (Herald page 6)


The shipbuilding firm Babcock has warned that independence could lead to the firm potentially not being awarded contracts to refit complex warships (Scotsman page 7, Times page 18, Express page 2, Daily Record page 12, Sun page 2)


Aviation Taxes: Ministers in Westminster are reportedly debating whether to devolve hundreds of millions of pounds of aviation taxes to Holyrood in the budget next week. (Financial Times page 2)

Independence and Terrorism: Sir David Omand, former director of GCHQ, has claimed that Alex Salmond’s defence proposals would leave Scotland more at risk of terrorism and cyber attacks. He also claimed that the scrapping of Trident would affect Scotland’s relations with the US and other countries. (Express page 2)


Tax Break for Married Couples: Labour has reportedly pledged to scrap the tax break for married couples and instead introduce the 10p tax, which helps low and middle income families more. (Herald page 2)


Scottish Studio: Scotland could have its first major film and television studio up and running within the next three years. The £15 million studio is set to be in the Glasgow area. (Scotsman page 12, Times page 17)


Fathers in Scotland: Fathers Network Scotland has claimed that Fathers are not being allowed a role in their children’s lives (Scotsman page 15)


Tories and Devolution: Lord Lang of Monkton, a former Scottish Secretary, has warned that Conservatives should delay talks on devolution to Holyrood until after the Independence Referendum. (Telegraph page 4)


Alan Cochrane comments, on page 4 of the Telegraph, that the postponement of discussions on devolution has left a “hole in the middle” of the Scottish Conservative annual conference.


North Sea Helicopter Crash: The Super Puma helicopter crash in 2009 has been ruled by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle to have been preventable. (Daily Express page 7)


Tony Benn: Former Labour MP Tony Benn has died age 88 (BBC News)



Bankers’ bonuses: Bankers could be stripped of their bonuses, under new plans set out by the Bank of England. Bonuses could potentially be reclaimed, once they have been given. (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 16)


Harry Ramsden: Harry Ramsden is reportedly going to open fifty new outlets across Scotland over the next five years, creating up to 500 jobs. (Herald page 5)


Referendum jitters: Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allender Institute has claimed that Scotland’s economy is not suffering form referendum uncertainty. The institute has predicted that Scotland’s output growth will be 2.3 percent, an increase from its previous prediction of 1.7 percent. (Times page 2, Express page 2)


50p tax: A poll by the daily record has revealed that 59% of Scots would want a 50% tax rate on incomes over £150,000. (Daily Record page 12)



Licensing laws: New laws, coming into effect at the end of August, mean that many working in pubs, supermarkets, hotel and restaurants are at risk of losing their ‘personal licences’ if they have not completed the necessary training. (Herald page 5)



Teacher vetting: Head teachers at Catholic Schools have criticised the requirement for priests to vet teaching staff before they are hired, saying that there is an inconsistent approach. (Herald page 1)



Queuing system: A new US airline queuing system is to be tried out in Scottish hospitals, with a 4.5 million pilot scheme, to reduce pressure on NHS Scotland. (Herald page 1)


NHS Scotland pay rise: NHS Scotland staff will receive a 1% pay rise, following recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body and Doctors’ and Dentists’ Pay Review Body (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, Times page 1)



Trams: 1,000 Volunteers have been testing the new tram system in Edinburgh, from Murrayfield stadium to the airport. (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 3)