Reform Scotland News: 2nd 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


Please note that there will not be a media summary on Monday the 5th May as it is a Bank Holiday.



Baby Ashes Scandal: The First Minister and Public Health Minister vow to extend the investigation nationwide to find answers for all affected families. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 8, Record page 8, Times page 5, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 6)


Salmond’s Putin comments: Alex Salmond will write to the Association of Ukrainians to outline his objections to Vladimir Putin’s regime after all three opposition leaders criticised him over his perceived support in a recent interview. (Scotsman page 9, page 6, Sun page 2, Record page 4, Express page 2, Times page 5, Courier page 18, Press and Journal page 13)

Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph discusses the criticism Alex Salmond is receiving for his comments on Putin’s regime.


Ageing Workforce: A report by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) suggests an independent Scotland would have to raise the retirement age because its population is ageing at a faster rate than the rest of the UK. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Sun page 2)


Independence Polls: Social Research group ScotCen found that supporters of independence are more likely to turn out to vote than those opposing. However, a YouGov poll for Channel 4 News found 51% plan to vote No and 37% Yes. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 1, Express page 2, Times page 4, Courier page 19, Press and Journal page 11)

Approximately 80% of 16/17 year olds in Scotland have signed up to vote in the Independence Referendum (Record page 4)


Grassroots No Campaign: Following concerns that Better Together has been taking a negative approach, a billionaire businessman has launched the grassroots campaign ‘No Borders’ to make  an emotional case for staying in the Union.(Times page 4)


CBI application: The Electoral Commission has ruled that the CBI’s application to register as a supporter of the No vote is void, because it was not signed by an authorised person. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 6, Record page 4, Express page 2, Courier page 19)


Diplomacy Bonus: Moray MP Angus Robertson will argue today in a speech in Vienna that Independence would bring major diplomacy dividends as it would become home to new embassies, high commissions, official residencies and international organisations. (Herald page 7)


Labour in Scotland: John McTernan advises Ed Miliband on how to win over Scots voters with a message of Socialism.


Waste: Rebecca McQuillan in the Herald asks how reliable statistics released by the Scottish Government Food Waste Campaign are about how much is wasted per household, and what this means in terms of carbon emissions.


Poverty in Ireland: Kevin Toolis in the Financial Times discusses the economic prospects of Scottish Independence and uses the model of Ireland as a free state as a warning.



Credit Rating: Ratings agency Moody’s has said that the credit rating of an independent Scotland would be ‘two notches’ below the UK on a par with Estonia and Botswana, but that the impact on the rating for the remainder of the UK will be limited. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Express page 2, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 19, Press and Journal page 1, FT page 4)


Jobcentre Comments: The union representing JobCentre staff has rejected Neil Couling’s controversial statements about cuts to benefits. His comments were branded ‘repellent’ (Record page 2)


Royal Mail: Joyce McMillan comments in the Scotsman on the investigation into those who benefited from the controversial sell-off of Royal Mail


Local Government

Tram Launch Date: Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced that Edinburgh’s controversial trams will launch on Saturday May 31st (Herald page 1)



Organ Donation: MSPs put on hold a plan for an opt-out system for organ donation, despite a 20,000 strong petition. Public Health Minister Michael Matherson said the government was ‘unconvinced’ about the change. (Record page 2, Press and Journal page 14)


Health in Scotland: Lyndsay Buckland in The Scotsman discusses Scotland’s reputation as the ‘sick man of Europe’ and asks if our generous Health and Social Care System is sustainable and affordable.