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Reform Scotland news 4 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

Childcare: Official figures released by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre reveal a massive shortfall in the tax revenues Alex Salmond claimed his Childcare Policy would bring. The organisation reports that not enough mothers are looking to get back into employment and that implementing the childcare policy would cost an additional £1.2billion.(Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 11, Times page 1, Express page 12, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 16)

 

Independence Campaign: A study by the Weir Group has predicted Scottish Independence would lead to ‘costs and uncertainties’, and raises concerns over taxation, currency and pensions. The report also claims that Independence would jeopardise at least 50,000 Scottish jobs and cost Scots business £1bn.  Magnus Linklater comments in The Times that both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ need to accept the advice given in the Weir Group’s Report. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Express page 1, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Times page 13, FT page 4, Press and Journal page 14, Courier page 17, Guardian page 27, Times page 13))

 

Sky: A leaked memo to staff at Sky has revealed the company have no plans to change their business in Scotland in the event of a Yes vote (Sun page 2, Telegraph page 11, Times page 13)

 

Commonwealth Games: 5 of the 6 Red Road high-rises will be demolished during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games this Summer as an ‘unforgettable statement’ of Glasgow’s changing narrative. Joyce McMillan comments in The Scotsman on the Red Road flats demolition, describing it as a highly ambiguous act of outright destruction which sends out the wrong message (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 7, Record page 10, Times page 6, Express page 5, Courier page 21, Guardian page 5)

 

Expenses: Culture Secretary Maria Miller gave an apology yesterday to MPs and was ordered to pay back £5,800 in mortgage expenses. She is said to be ‘clinging on to her job’ after criticism from the Cross-Party Standards commission (Herald page 7, Record page 8, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Express page 4, Courier page 17)

 

White Paper: John McTernan in The Scotsman comments on the SNP’s White Paper on Independence. (Scotsman page 24)

 

First Minister’s Questions: Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday she expected to face tough questions on the death of an Edinburgh pupil at Liberton high School and was ‘stunned’ when opposition leaders chose to focus on other issues. (Record page 9)

 

Alan Cochrane asks why the Scottish Parliament did not address the issues surrounding the death of a school pupil yesterday, instead of simply offering condolences. (Telegraph page 7)

 

Tom Gordon notes that Alex Salmond was absent from First Minister’s questions yesterday and comments on Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont’s debate about the merit and cost of his trip (Herald page 6). 

 

U.S. Visit: Labour MSP Paul Martin has criticised Alex Salmond’s latest visit to the U.S. after it emerged he was reportedly using the trip to present the case for independence (Herald page 6).

 

Economy

RBS closures: The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced plans to close 44 branches in local communities across the UK, breaking the promise of its advertising campaign to ‘never close the last branch in town’ (FT page 2, Express page 4)

 

Job Creation: Research by the Bank of Scotland reports that the Oil and Gas industry is set to create a further 39,000 jobs over the next 2 years as the vast majority of companies are confident they can continue to expand (Scotsman page 14, Herald page 1)

 

North East Pay Rise: Richard Baker MSP has urged the government to make additional funds available to allow a pay rise for North East NHS staff to combat high living costs. (Press and Journal page 9)

 

Education

School Safety: Following the death of a pupil at Liberton High School this week several walls in other city schools have been cordoned off as Edinburgh City Council teams carry out safety checks. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 4, Record page 9, Times page 2, Express page 5, Courier page 19)

 

Justice

Female officers held back: Retiring superintendant Alex Duncan warns that the creation of a single Scottish Police force, meaning a promotion could force them to relocate anywhere in the country, has led to additional barriers to female officers being promoted (Scotsman page 1)

 

Early Release: Christine Graham MSP, convener of Holyrood’s Justice Committee, has raised questions over proposals to end automatic early release for offenders sentenced for serious crimes. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 6)

 

Health

NHS 24: Doctors have expressed disappointment that a new £27m Scotland-wide system intended to improve NHS 24 has been delayed indefinitely (Herald page 9)