Reform Scotland News: 13 May 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



Pensions: According to the Scottish Government, Scots in the poorest areas of the country are losing out on the UK state pension by up to £50,000 compared to better off areas of the UK.  This was as a result of some Scots dying younger and not collecting as much as those who lived longer. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Telegraph page 1, Daily Express page 8, Times page 1, Press & Journal page 13, Courier page 1)


Scottish Independence: The Nationalists are reportedly split on whether to pursue a second vote if Scots reject independence on September 18th. Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary has warned against continuing with a campaign for another referendum in the event of a No vote. (Telegraph page 10, Times page 4, Press & Journal page 12, Courier page 15)


Lord Hanningfield:  The House of Lords privileges and conduct committee has recommended that Tory Peer Lord Hanningfield should be suspended from the House of Lords for the rest of the current parliament over his claims for daily allowances. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6, Sun page 19)


Scottish identity: Peter Jones in the Scotsman suggests that an idealised view of Scottish identity and lack of a credible UK alternative are a threat to Better Together.


David Cameron: The Prime Minister will visit Scotland this week in order to reportedly highlight how the United Kingdom benefits every Scottish individual. (Herald page 6)


Yes campaign: Nationalist optimism is reportedly rising as a result of a sophisticated grassroots campaign, the headquarters of which are located on Hope Street in Glasgow. Utilising social media and organising local public meetings have been cited as factors in the narrowing of the pro-union lead in polls. (Financial Times page 2)


Fishing ban: The Scottish Fisherman’s Federation has called on Alex Salmond to clarify suggestions made in a speech last month, implying that an Independent Scotland could ban EU fishing vessels from Scottish waters. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 4, Times page, Daily Mail page 5)


Independence campaign: The former SNP deputy leader, Jim Sillars has claimed that Alex Salmond must focus more on speaking to ordinary Scots, or risk costing the Yes campaign the referendum. (Daily Record page 8)



Flat owners: Flats in Scotland are defying market trends, by selling at an average £11,000 above asking price. This is in contrast to detached homes which have been selling at an average of £35,000 under the asking price during the first three months of 2014.  (Herald page 7)



New weapons policy: Police have rejected John Finnie MSP’s claims that a new weapons policy shows that Scotland is becoming ‘militarised’. Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins has defended the deployment of armed officers in the Highlands, claiming that the new policy will enable officers to effectively deal with unexpected and immediate threats and limit risk to the public (Herald page 2)



Elderly hospital patients: The Mental Welfare Commission has raised concerns regarding the care of elderly patients at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. The report, presented to NHS Lothian, claims that issues such as the lack of available care homes and staff shortages are contributing to the distress of patients suffering from dementia symptoms. (Herald page 1)


‘Your Say’ Campaign: The Welfare Reform Committee has invited disabled people who have switched from disability living allowance (DSA) to the new personal independence payment (PIP) to share their experiences at Holyrood. This call for evidence is part of the committee’s wider ‘Your Say’ campaign that aims to discover first-hand how changed are working. (Herald page 6, Press & Journal page 11, Courier page 15)


Scottish health: Jackie Brock and Claire Stevens in the Herald suggest that all agencies across all sectors are required to combat widening health inequalities, rather than expecting health agencies to solve the vast array of issues alone.