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Reform Scotland News: 4 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

Independence debate: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that women are crucial to the success of the Yes campaign. This comes after an opinion poll suggested that only 27% of women intend to vote Yes. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Telegraph page 4, Magnus Linklater in the Times, Courier page 19, Scottish Daily Mail page 10)

First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to make a speech tonight in London accusing the UK government of pursuing a “Dambusters strategy” to oppose independence, and is also expected to call the referendum “Scotland’s hour”. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 1, Times page 4, Financial Times page 2, Press & Journal page 13)

Former first sea lord, Lord West, has accused the UK government of failing to address what would happen to the UK’s nuclear deterrent if Scotland votes for independence. (Scotsman page 5, Times page 4)

According to the latest poll by Ipsos Mori, the refusal of the currency union by UK parties has served to make undecided voters more likely to vote No in the upcoming referendum. (Herald page 6, Scottish Sun page 4, Daily Record page 2, Scottish Daily Express page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 13, Courier page 19)

According to the Spanish vice president of the European Commission, the organisation’s leaders are “99.9%” behind the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK. (Herald page 6)

Nicola Sturgeon called proposals from unionist parties for further devolution, “at best inadequate and at worst damaging”, ahead of publications by Labour and the Liberal Democrats on devolution. (Daily Record page 2, Kerry Gill in the Scottish Daily Express, Press & Journal page 12, Courier page 19, Jeremy Purvis in the Scottish Daily Mail)

Scottish Labour: Hugh Reilly comments in the Scotsman on the need for Scottish Labour to recapture its spark regarding the independence debate.

Aberdeen Council: First Minister Alex Salmond is facing a six-month ban from all council premises in Aberdeen after being accused of acting “like a bully”. (Herald page 3, Scottish Sun page 4, Daily Record page 2, Scottish Daily Express page 7, Daily Telegraph page 10, Press & Journal page 5, Courier page 18)

Ukraine and Scotland: Peter Jones comments in the Scotsman on the impact that a peaceful resolution in Ukraine might have on the issue of Scottish independence.

Economy

Energy costs: According to official figures, Scottish households are paying the highest energy costs in Britain, with an average spend of £112 a month. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 7, Daily Record page 4, Times page 21)

Scottish poverty: Scotland’s Outlook, a new campaign by eight Scottish charities that launches today, highlights poverty around Scotland, revealing that 870,000 people in Scotland are officially poor. (Herald page 9, Daily Record page 4)

Education

Scottish exam system: The Jimmy Reid Foundation has published a study in which they argue for a single exit exam in the final year of school in Scotland, rather than the existing system of formal exams. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4)

School closures: The Scottish Government has stepped in to halt plans for the closure of two primary schools on the outskirts of Glasgow. (Herald page 5)

Health

Heart transplants: After an increase in the number of organ donors in Scotland, the number of life-saving heart transplants has almost triples compared to 2012. (Herald page 5, Press & Journal page 10)

Transport

Congestion: A new report by Inrix has revealed that Scotland has the second and third most congested roads in the UK outside of London. (Herald page 3)

Scottish railways: The campaign group Transform Scotland has called for the Scottish Government to improve train travel by making it faster, safer and greener. (Times page 18)