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Reform Scotland News 2nd 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

Tax powers: According to Professor Alan Trench an amendment proposed by the UK Government yesterday to the Scotland Act 2012, continued in the Finance (No2) Bill, would allow MSPs to vary income tax bands at different rates.  The Scotland Act currently required any change in one income tax rate to be mirrored in other bands. (Scotsman page 1)

 

Hard-line nationalists: Alistair Darling has criticised hard-line independence supporters who attack individuals for supporting the Union. He has also insisted that the No Campaign are winning the economic argument (Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Express page 4, Times page 5, Mail page 6, Telegraph page 7)

 

Unite: Len McClusky, general secretary of the Unite union has reportedly commented that the union could break its links with Labour if they lose the next election.  He also warned that the No campaign were offering only “threats, threats, threats”. (Herald page 1, Record page 8, FT page 2, Mail page 6)

 

Energy bills criticism: Ed Milliband has reportedly claimed that Alex Salmond has missed opportunities to tackle Energy Companies over spiralling household bills. (Herald page 6)

 

Potential PM Change: Angus MacNeil MP is expected to argue today that Scottish MPs should lose their seats following an Independence Day in 2016, potentially triggering a change of UK Prime Minister (Herald page 6)

 

Security: Ian Bell comments on report by Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

 

Currency: Anton Muscatelli in the FT argues that a currency union following Scottish independence would be best for all of the UK.

 

Education

Liberton High School tragedy:  12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett died yesterday when an internal wall in a gym building at Liberton High School, in Edinburgh, collapsed. Police and the Health and Safety officials have begun an investigation into how the accident happened. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Record page 1, Herald page 1, Express page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 6, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 13, Mail page 1, Telegraph page 1)

 

Economy

Building programme: John Swinney has announced a billion-pound building programme to help economic recovery.  The money is expected to be used for major construction projects, with the specific schemes expected to be announced later in the year. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Express page 4, Press and Journal page 15, Courier page 18, Mail page 16)

 

Full employment: George Kerevan in the Scotsman accuses George Osborne of making an empty election promise over full employment.

 

Green Town Rejected:  Councillors have rejected a £500million plan for a new eco-friendly town in South Lanarkshire (Times page 11)

 

Scottish Cities Alliance: Representatives of Scotland’s cities will meet today to discuss ways to stimulate economic growth and infrastructure (Press and Journal page 8, Courier page 18)

 

Financial Conduct Authority: George Osborne has commented that he was “profoundly concerned” by the Financial Conduct Authority’s bungled announcement of a market-sensitive probe into the insurance industry. (FT page 1)

 

Justice

Police: Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has denied that his staff are suffering from a loss of public confidence that has affected forces elsewhere in the UK, as a result of police handling of the Hillsborough disaster and Stephen Lawrence’s murder. (Scotsman page 11, Press and Journal page 14, Courier page 14)

 

Transport

Corran Ferry: Local people have called for the Highland Council-owned Corran Ferry to be free following the third fare hike in 12 months, arguing that it is a lifeline public service. (Scotsman page 16)

 

Health

GPs: Dr Andrew Buist, the deputy chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GP committee, yesterday told MSPs that there were early signs of a workforce crisis starting to emerge in general practice. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 19)

 

Wishaw General neonatal unit: Staff at Wishaw General’s neonatal unit have reportedly commented that they are overloaded and under too much pressure, warning that mistakes could be made. (Record page 1)

 

Care for the elderly: The Task Force for the Future of Residential Care for Older People in Scotland has warned that care for the elderly in Scotland will become unaffordable unless the Scottish Government and Councils secure more funding (Herald page 10