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Reform Scotland News: 19 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

 

Politics

Independence debate: Leading economist Professor Andrew Goudie has warned that the three main opposition parties face a massive task in convincing voters that they will actually deliver on their promise to give more powers to Scotland following a No vote. (Herald page 6)

Former Scottish secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said that Alex Salmond is not acting like a “true statesman” by failing to properly spell out the consequences of independence. (Scotsman page 10, Telegraph page 8, Daily Express page 17, Daily Mail page 6, Press and Journal page 14)

In response to Finance Secretary John Swinney warning that a No vote will mean years of continued austerity for Scotland, pro-Union parties insisted that leaving the UK would impoverish Scotland, with public services like hospitals and schools suffering the brunt of a massive funding black hole. (Scotsman page 10)

The Yes campaign has disowned a campaign leaflet produced by Yes Edinburgh North & Leith urging voters to check out controversial pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland.(Herald page 6, Telegraph page 9, Daily Express page 17, Daily Mail page 7)

Alex Salmond is coming under renewed pressure to get rid of the royal family in an independent Scotland as anti-monarchy campaigners increase their activity. (Daily Record page 2, Daily Mail page 6)

Iain MacWhirter comments in the Herald on the potential for a federal reconstruction of the United Kindgom

 

Bees: As 25,000 bees arrived in Holyrood yesterday, the Scottish Parliament became the first legislature in the world to take delivery of its own bee colonies. The first batch of Holyrood Honey is expected later this year. (Scotsman page 3, Daily Mail page 5, Press and Journal page 15)

 

GSA: Actors Brad Pitt and Peter Capaldi have given their personal support to a £20 million fundraising campaign for the restoration of Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, which was damaged in a fire last month. (Scotsman page 3, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Daily Mail page 5)

 

Ed Miliband: Pressure is mounting on Ed Miliband as two fresh polls indicated that the British public do not think he is up to being Prime Minister. (Times page 2)

 

Economy

Parental support: Labour has announced plans for some middle-class parents to have to support their children up until the age of 22 to allow for the creation of a “youth allowance” for low-skilled college students who do not now receive help. Critics have questioned whether the proposals amount to the state changing the point at which people are considered adults. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 6, Guardian page 1)

 

Interest rates: Vince Cable has warned that an early rise in interest rates could put the economic recovery in jeopardy, particularly in Scotland, and has advised against doing so just to cool the booming housing market. (Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Daily Express page 4, Press and Journal page 24, Courier page 18)

 

Single currency: Ed Balls has reportedly suggested that he would resign as Chancellor in a future Labour Government if the UK decided to join with an independent Scotland in a currency union. He also warned that, if Scotland were to adopt its own currency, there would be a rush to get money out of Scotland because it would be worth less than sterling. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 8, Daily Record page 2, Press and Journal page 14)

 

Independent economy: John Swinney has challenged opponents of independence to reveal their own strategies for building the Scottish economy as he praised the SNP’s proposals to boost output by a third by 2030 following a Yes vote. (Sun page 2)

 

Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman on Scotland’s better-than-expected economic progress and what this means for the independence debate.

 

Education

Primary school testing: A report by the Accounts Commission on state education in Scotland has backed the controversial practice of testing pupils throughout their school career as there is currently a lack of information about how well pupils are performing until they start studying for formal qualifications in secondary school. (Herald page 7)

 

Postcode pass/fail: According to research carried out by Audit Scotland, a considerable gap has formed between the highest and lowest-achieving children in Scottish schools, with pupils’ performance depending on various socio-economic factors, raising concerns that Scotland is in danger of creating a postcode lottery when it comes to education. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 10, Daily Mail page 1)

 

Funding cuts: The Educational Institute for Scotland, Scotland’s largest teaching union, has said that cuts to education funding in Scotland could leave teachers suffering from stress and affect efforts to raise pupils’ performance. (Times page 1)

 

Health

Working hours: Hospitals are being told to reduce the working hours of junior doctors after a 23 year old medic was killed driving home after working a 12-day run of more than 107 hours. (Herald page 1)

 

Health debate: Helen Puttick comments in the Herald on how discussion of health in Scotland is being sidelined by the referendum.

 

State guardians: As part of the Scottish Government’s controversial plan to create state guardians, and at a cost of £40 million, an extra 500 health-visitor posts will be created in Scotland to ensure every child has a “named person” to monitor their welfare. (Scotsman page 1, Daily Mail page 12)

 

Transport

Graduated driver licensing: A row has broken out between Holyrood and Westminster after a Scottish scheme designed to cut road deaths by placing restrictions on newly-qualified drivers was blocked by London. (Herald page 3)

 

Prestwick Airport: Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £10 million revamp of the troubled, taxpayer-owned Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Additionally, calls to rename the airport after Robert Burns have been rejected amid fears it would cause confusion to tourists. (Herald page 4, Scotsman page 13, Daily Express page 4, Courier page15)