Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 11 June 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.
Independence & pensions: The Conservatives yesterday accused the Yes campaign of using the prospect of a lower retirement age in an independent Scotland as an “elusive bribe”. However, the Nationalists have commented that the Westminster system was one which they “wished to replace” because of lower life expectancies in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Courier page 15)
Undecided voters: Polling firm TNS has reported that when undecided voters are pressed to say which way they are likely to vote, 19% back Yes, 15% back No, and the rest remain undecided. (Sun page 2, Herald page 1)
Jobs connected to the Union: Gordon Brown has commented that one million Scottish jobs are currently connected to Scotland’s position as part of the UK. (Herald page 6, Ian Bell in the Herald, Record page 8, Express page 2, Courier page 17, P&J page 12)
Alex Salmond: Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw has suggested that Alex Salmond should face a vote of no confidence if the Yes campaign loses the referendum. (Scotsman page 9)
The First Minister has signalled that he plans to seek re-election in 2016 regardless of the outcome of the independence referendum. (Times page 5, Express page 2, Mail page 6, Courier page 13
Labour Yes: Jamie Kerr, vice-chairman of the Renfrewshire South Labour party, and a former MSP candidate, has publicly declared he will be voting Yes. (Record page 9)
“Cybernat” campaign: Clare Lally, a mother of twins, one of whom has cerebral palsy, has accused the First Minister of a smear campaign against her after she spoke at a Better Together event. Campbell Gunn, a senior special adviser and political spokesman for the Scottish Government reportedly briefed newspapers that Ms Lally was the daughter-in-law of Pat Lally, a former Labour lord provost of Glasgow and a member of Labour’s shadow cabinet, while online Ms Lally was described as a “liar” and a “known Quisling”. Ms Lally has commented that she is not related to Pat Lally and has never met him, but she had met the First Minister when he visited her to talk about her work as a carer. (Telegraph page 1)
Air passenger duty: Newcastle airport has warned that “large numbers of passengers” from northern England would fly from Scotland if air passenger duty was significantly cut in Scotland. (Scotsman page 9)
Emissions: Scotland has failed to meet statutory targets for reducing carbon emissions for the third year running according to the latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory. (Scotsman page 15, Times page 1, Express page 1, Kerry Gill in the Express, Mail page 16, Courier page 16, P&J page 15)
Benefit sanctions: Holyrood’s welfare reform committee is expected to call for an immediate review of the UK Government’s benefit sanctions regime. (Record page 2, P&J page 15)
Passport office: Staff at HM Passport Office are reportedly ‘overwhelmed’ by a backlog of 500,000 cases. (Mail page 1)
Gordon Brown: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments that Gordon Brown has made a positive case for why Scotland should remain in the UK.
Independence & the EU: Gavin Hewitt in the Scotsman comments on what he sees as some of the challenges that an independent Scotland would face with regard to EU membership.
Energy prices: Energy regulator Ofgem has called on the ‘big six’ energy firms to explain why falling wholesale prices have not resulted in lower bill for consumers. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 4, Herald page 3, Record page 14, Express page 5, FT page 1, Mail page 2, Guardian page 5, P&J page 19)
Youth employment: Sir Ian Wood in the Sun comments that there needs to be a change in perception that learning a trade is inferior to going to university.
Reconviction rates: Official figures show that the average number of reconvictions per offender has decreased from 0.55 in 2010/11 to 0.53 in 2011/12. (Scotsman page 5)
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary: Sources at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary have reportedly commented that clinicians had become “fearful” about the way people were being treated because of a lack of resources. Healthcare Improvement Scotland is to visit the hospital to carry out an independent review. (P&J page 1)