Reform Scotland News: 1 April 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

Climate change: A report from the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), based on more than 12,000 scientific studies, has commented that the impact of climate change was already being felt and the world was in “an era of man-made climate change”. (Scotsman page 1, Gina Hanrahan in the Scotsman, Record page 4, Times page 21, Ross Clark in the Daily Express, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 6, Courier page 13)

Barrhead Travel: Bill Munro, founder of Barrhead Travel, has reportedly circulated a memo to staff saying that independence would be a “complete disaster”. (Scotsman page 6, Telegraph page 1)

Currency referendum: Alistair Darling has said that in the event of independence, the rest of the UK should have a referendum over whether they want to enter a currency union with Scotland. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, Times page 4, Telegraph page 7, FT page 1, Mail page 2)

Currency union: Jim Sillars in the Herald argues that Westminster must create a sensible ‘Plan B option’, after ruling out a currency union in the event that Scotland becomes independent.

Benefit sanctions: The Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee is set to take evidence today in regards to its current inquiry into the UK Government’s sanctions regime, that John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council For Voluntary Organisations, has denounced as “disgusting”. (Herald page 1)

Bedroom tax: The UK government has claimed that Scottish taxpayers have saved £42 million as a result of the implementation of the so-called Bedroom Tax. (Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 13)

Immigration: Rachel Sylvester in the Times argues that there is a ‘general willingness’ of the public to accept new migrants, but voters still want to feel confident that the Government’s immigration system is working.

Positive campaign: Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph accuses Alex Salmond of “offering the most negative policy of all”.

 

Economy

Oil estimates: Peter Jones in the Scotsman argues that the figures estimates North Sea oil reserves need to be challenged.

Coal deposits: A team of experts at Glasgow University have proposed that large coal deposits beneath the North Sea could substantially boost the energy industry. (Herald page 8)

Full employment:  George Osborne has reportedly pledged to put a campaign for full employment at the centre of the Tory election campaign. (Telegraph page 4, FT page 4, Guardian page 4, Courier page 18)

Royal Mail: A report by the National Audit Office has commented that the Department for Business could have achieved better value for money for the taxpayer. (Sun page 26, Times page 2, FT page 4, Mail page 8, Guardian page 1)

Scottish Farmers: According to official statistics, the average income of Scottish farmers has fallen by 34% over the last twelve months. (Herald page 5, Press and Journal page 11,


Justice

Single police force: One year since the creation of Scotland’s single police force, Vic Emery, chair of the Scottish Police Authority, has commented that the force is not yet the “finished article”. (Scotsman page 10, Graeme Pearson in the Scotsman, Press and Journal page 9, Graeme Ogston in the Courier)

Knife crime: The number of people caught carrying blades in Greenock has fallen by 60% between 2009/10 and 2012/13 following the No Knives Better Lives education campaign. (Sun page 2, Record page 2, Herald page 4, Times page 12)

Addiewell prison: It is reported that the privately run Addiewell prison in West Lothian could end up costing about £900m as a result of the Private Finance Initiative deal that was agreed. (Sun page 4)

Terror risk: The Royal United Services Institute has claimed that an independent Scotland would be at risk of terrorist attacks as a result of a ‘weak Scottish security capability’, until a new Scottish Security and Intelligence Agency could be established. (Daily Express page 5)

Health

Minimum pricing: Leading experts have warned that the delay in implementing the introduction of a 50p minimum price per unit of alcohol was costing lives.  The policy was due to be introduced a year ago today but has been delayed by legal action led by the Scotch Whisky Association. (Herald page 1)

NHS Lothian: NHS Lothian has reportedly admitted that it needs to make £400m of savings over the next decade as increases in its funding were not likely to keep pace with increases in demand for services. (Herald page 1)

April 1st:

There are a range of April Fools’ Day stories today – here are the ones we spotted!

Pandas to go on a romantic mini break (Scotsman page 9)

Rise of a cross between a mink and a beaver – the minker. (Herald page 1)

Drones delivering cakes. (Record page 11)

Batman style SNP logo to be shone in the skies to boost Yes campaign. (Sun page 25)

Prize-winning hens start laying square eggs (Daily Express page 3)
Scotland to replace Queen on coins with Alex Salmond. (Telegraph page 10)

Scot-free Union Jack (Mail page 8)

Independent Scotland will drive on right (Guardian page 5)