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Reform Scotland News: 21 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 Labour Conference: Ed Miliband will invoke the memory of the late John Smith, his Labour predecessor, who died suddenly 20 years ago. Ed Miliband will reportedly call for the Scottish people to vote no, to honour his legacy. Mr Miliband will reportedly warn that independence would lead to a competition between David Cameron and Alex Salmond over tax breaks for the rich. He will also pledge to conduct a positive campaign for the Union. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Express page 4, Times page 10, Daily Record page 8, Herald page 1, Herald page 2)

 

Independence referendum: Gordon Brown has warned middle income Scottish families that they would be on average £460 a year worse off under Scottish Independence. (Daily Telegraph page 14, Times page 10, Scotsman page 5)

 

BAE Systems: Britain’s largest defence contractor, BAE, has joined those companies raising concerns over Independence. The chief executive, Ian King, said that the union between Scotland and the UK offered “greater certainty and stability”. Trade Union leaders have said that the statement does not go far enough to address the concerns of the 12,500 people working in the defence industry in Scotland. (Scotsman page 4, Times page 8, Sun page 2)

 

Labour’s devolution plans: The claim by Labour that Holyrood would raise 40 per cent of what it spends has been questioned by Reform Scotland. Reform Scotland has calculated that Labour’s proposals would only raise 26 per cent of what Holyrood spends based on GERS figures. (Scotsman page 5, Herald online, Daily Record page 6)

 

Scotland and the EU: Scottish National Party plans to join the European Union are not as straightforward as they thought they would be, according to Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary. (Times page 2, Daily Telegraph page 10, Daily Record page 9)

 

Economy

Pensions: The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that some pensioners will be worse off under the new changes to pensions. The changes will reportedly increase the cost of annuities. Pensions Minister Steve Webb has come under attack for saying that pensioners could blow their cash on fast cars.  However, Australian pension experts have dismissed fears that pensioners would spend all their money. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Financial Times page 3)

 

Oil Revenue: Alex Salmond has reportedly been asked to correct his prediction, last year, of £34.6 billion in revenue from North Sea taxes. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast the revenue to be £18.8 billion. (Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 9, Daily Express page 4)

 

Justice

Domestic Violence: The head of police Scotland, Sir Stephen House, has claimed that cases of domestic violence in and around Edinburgh had previously been being ignored, before Police Scotland was created a year ago. (Herald page 1)

 

Education

Nursery Comparison Website: Glasgow City Council is setting up a new website for comparing nurseries, including the private and voluntary sectors, as well as child minders and toddler groups. The website will include information such as the number of government funded places and links to inspection reports. (Herald page 5)

 

Scots Student places: There are reportedly fears that there would be fewer university places for Scottish students if Scotland went independent, with lots of English students coming north of the border. (Sun page 1)