Reform Scotland News: 27 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 Referendum: Ed Miliband has appealed to the people of Scotland to be part of his mission to change Britain, claiming that a No vote is a vote against Tory tax-cutting policies and in favour of big change. He listed his priorities, which he said the ‘SNP cannot match’ as: tackling low pay and inequality, a 50p tax rate to restore fairness and an energy price freeze. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1, Record page 2, Sun page 2)


In a visit to Edinburgh yesterday, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls stated that Alex Salmond’s determination to have a different immigration policy in Scotland would mean border controls were necessary with the rest of the UK. He also warned voters that independence would lead to higher interest rates, losing the pound, higher food prices and breaking up of UK-wide pension pots. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 6, Times page 25, Record page 2)


In continuing discussion over the date for a proposed live TV debate on independence, Alex Salmond has taunted Alistair Darling and accused him of having ‘the heeby jeebies’. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Express page 2)


Professor Patrick Dunleavy, whose work has been quoted by both sides of the debate, has articulated in a blog that he is relatively sure that start up costs for an independent Scotland would be between £600m and £1.5bn over a decade. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Express page 2, Record page 2, Sun page 2)


Professor Iain McLean in the Telegraph critiques Professor Dunleavy’s report on independence costs and argues that the costs are likely to be more than claimed by Nationalists. 


An ‘English Scots for Yes’ group was launched yesterday with support from education secretary Mike Russell who claims an independent Scotland would be a beacon for change which would encourage people to fight for social change North and South of the border. (Scotsman page 13)


International Development Minister Humza Yousaf has spoken out against the asylum dawn raid policy instigated by officials in London, claiming that an independent Scotland would put an end to the practice. He expressed concern at the rhetoric of Westminster’s ‘Go Home’ campaign and said that Scotland’s system of asylum would be based on compassion and humanity. (Scotsman page 12)


Think tank ‘The Scotland Institute’ has warned voters to be wary of SNP promises and that an independent Scotland would be forced to increase taxes or cut public spending to meet repayment on its large national debt. (Telegraph page 4)


Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman dismisses recent comments that Scots considering voting Yes are doing so because they’ve been blinded by the romantic notion of Braveheart. She argues that to become the largest party in parliament, the SNP had to ‘drop the Bannockburn rallies and start talking about schools, hospitals and jobs’.


Migration: The office for National Statistics has released figures suggesting an increase in those moving to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK and a decrease in those moving away from Scotland. Experts have cited positive economic factors such as free tuition fees as an incentive. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6)


Food Banks: Scotland’s only Tory MP David Mundell reportedly admitted to Holyrood’s welfare committee that benefit cuts have forced Scots to seek help from food banks. (Record page 2)


Rowling abuse: Christina McKelvie MSP has suggested that there is no link between the Yes campaign and the abuse directed online at JK Rowling after her £1m donation to Better Together, but instead that it was the work of ‘secret service plants’. (Telegraph page 3)


Council Tax Review: MSPs on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee have recommended an independent commission be set up in time for the 2017 local authority elections to consider alternatives to council tax. (Herald page 6)


Muslim Extremism: Alex Salmond has spoken of a zero-tolerance approach to any attempt to demonise the Muslim community and made clear that the actions of one Aberdeen man to recruit terrorists, does not reflect the community. (Scotsman page 15)


Baby Ashes Inquiry: On the day the Council set out its plan to implement a dozen recommendations, families affected by the baby ashes scandal have made a fresh appeal for a public enquiry to ensure those responsible give evidence under oath. (Herald page 5)


Life Expectancy: A study by the Glasgow centre for Poulation Health has found a life expectancy gap of 15 years for me, 11 years for women between poor and affluent neighbourhoods in the city. (Express page 10)



Graduate Jobs: A study has found that the percentage of university graduates who go into full-time employment, and their average starting salaries, are higher in Scotland than for the rest of the UK. (Herald page 5)



New Hospital: Finance Secretary John Swinney announced yesterday that £120million will be made available for the creation of a new maternity unit and cancer centre in Aberdeen. The news follows a recent report which found serious hygiene failings at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 11)