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Reform Scotland News: 25 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

Referendum debate: Alex Salmond and the SNP government have been accused of using public funds to promote independence for the Yes campaign. Alistair Darling has called it an “uneven contest” as the Better Together campaign reportedly can’t match this financial muscle. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 10, Times page 2, Scottish Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2, Daily Express page 2, Courier page 14, Scottish Daily Mail page 4)

A TNS UK survey has shown that only 28% of Scots support independence, with 30% undecided and 42% intending to vote No. This is in contrast to a poll in Scotland on Sunday which put support for independence at 39%. (Scotsman page 8, Magnus Gardham in the Herald , Scottish Sun page 2, Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record, Daily Express page 2, Press and Journal page 12)

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed yesterday that Scots are “second-class citizens” in the eyes of Westminster’s decision-makers and the No campaign is destroying the idea of the UK as an equal partnership. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Courier page 15)

Peter Jones comments in the Scotsman on the redundancy of an economic case for independence if reasons to oppose the currency union are demolished.

Michael Fry comments in the Scotsman on Nicola Sturgeon’s promise to publish an interim constitution for an independent Scotland this summer. (Financial Times page 4, Press and Journal page 12)

Alan Cochrane comments in the Daily Telegraph on the reportedly growing list, compiled by Better Together, of those who have raised concerns about the risks of independence.

Madeleine Bunting comments in the Guardian on how powerfully the north has shaped all the national identities of the United Kingdom.

The independence split can be blamed on the Romans according to Conservative MP Rory Stewart who believes Hadrian is at fault for drawing a line between the North and the South. (Courier page 14, Press and Journal page 13)

Scottish Isles: The Referenda for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles campaign has called for referendums on September 25 in the event of a Yes vote. Separate polls in each of the isles would ask voters if they wanted to become independent nations or remain part of Scotland. (Press and Journal page 11)

Economics

Scottish state pensions: David Davison, a leading actuary, has concluded that an independent Scotland could not afford the current state pension without increasing taxes or admitting up to a million more immigrants. (Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 2, Scottish Sun page 2, Daily Express page 2, Scottish Daily Mail page 4)

Donald Trump: Donald Trump revealed yesterday that his golf course near Balmedie, Aberdeenshire will always be in his family, amid claims he will turn his back on Scotland after acquiring a site in Ireland. (Daily Record page 9, Press and Journal page 2)

Education

Scottish Universities: Both the National Union of Students and the University and College Union have said that the SNP’s plan to charge students from the rest of the UK up to £36,000 to study in an independent Scotland must be revisited. (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 4, Courier page 15, Press and Journal page 13)

Jackie Kemp in the Guardian comments on the feelings of academics at Scottish universities towards independence.

Transport

Ryder Cup: Visitors to the Ryder Cup, expected to be around 45,000, have been warned that it will be a car-free zone and will have to travel to Gleneagles by bus or train, of which extra will be laid on for the tournament. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, Times page 6, Courier page 3)

Justice

Personal injury cases: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has warned that personal injury cases, which numbered 8,700 last year, are clogging up the justice system and must be tackled. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 13)