Reform Scotland News: 16 October 2014


Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  16 October 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.



Nicola Sturgeon: It was confirmed yesterday that Nicola Sturgeon will succeed Alex Salmond as SNP leader and First Minister.  She commented yesterday that she would work with the Smith Commission to deliver enhanced devolution but her ambition for independence remained undiminished. (Scotsman page 1, Express page 2, Kerry Gill in the Express, FT page 4, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 12, Mail page 1, David Torrance in the Mail, John MacLeod in the Mail, Courier page 22)


SNP rallies: Nicola Sturgeon is set to rally the thousands of members who have joined the party since the Independence campaign. Six dates have been announced across the country in the hope that the party’s membership will increase even further. (Daily Record page 6, Herald page 1)


Lord Freud: Welfare reform minister Lord Freud has issued a “full and unreserved apology” for suggesting that disabled people were “not worth the minimum wage”. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 4, FT page 2, The Times page 19, Daily Record page 10, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 10, Guardian page 1, Courier page 21)


Minimum wage: Alex Salmond has called on trade unions and employers to back the Scottish Government’s proposal for the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland. (Scotsman page 5, Express page 2, Daily Record page 2)


English votes: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman comments on English votes for English laws and the consequences of the “vow”.


Labour leader: Gordon Brown is reportedly being urged to become an MSP so that he can take over the Scottish Labour leadership. (Sun page 1, Mail page 1)


Child Poverty:  Catherine Macleod in the Herald comments has suggested that ‘more powers’ talk should take a back seat, after the recently published child poverty statistics make for uncomfortable reading.  



Inheritance tax: David Cameron has reportedly hinted that a cut in inheritance tax would be a priority if he wins the next election. (Scotsman page 7, David Maddox in the Scotsman, FT page 3, Courier page 21)


Tax Powers: Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, has raised the issue of delays for more tax raising powers for Scotland at Prime Minister’s Question. (Herald page 2)


Unemployment: Unemployment in Scotland fell by 40,000 between June and August.  Scotland’s unemployment rate is now 5.5% compared to 6% for the UK as a whole. (Scotsman page 8, John McLaren in the Scotsman, Sun page 16, Express page 2, FT page 2, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 12, Guardian page 4, Courier page 23)


Home ownership: Young workers are facing an increasing threat to their hope of buying a home through well-off peers gaining inheritance a new study by Stirling University has found. (Herald page 3)


Job cuts: Politicians and trade union leaders have voiced their concern over Scottish job cuts at the steel giant Tata. MPs have been shocked by the decision to sell off a plant in Lanarkshire which employs 330 staff. (Herald, page 5, Daily Record page 2)



Alcohol: The Scottish Government has gained the backing of ministers in Finland in a court case over minimum pricing of alcohol. Legal challenges have prevented the policy from being implemented which was passed at Holyrood in May 2012. (Herald page 9, The Times page 28)


A&E Cleanliness: Healthcare Improvement Scotland has criticised A&E wards cleanliness after finding blood and contamination during an inspection in St John’s hospital, West Lothian. (Herald page 10)


NHS Grampian: Health Secretary Alex Neil is to visit Aberdeen over the state of NHS Grampian. A letter of complaint was filed by consultants concerned with poor organisation and staff shortages. (The Press and Journal page 7)




Police: A report by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland has commented that officers and staff in Fife Constabulary felt the force’s identity and affinity with communities had been undermined by the creation of the single police force. (Scotsman page 10)


Corroboration: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has become under pressure to scrap his plans to end the need for corroboration. Experts have reported that wide-ranging safeguards would have to be adopted to prevent miscarriages of justice. (Herald page 6, The Times page 15)



Universities: Union leaders have claimed that university lecturers face high levels of stress and heavy work load pressures. A survey carried out by EIS-ULA has indicated that teaching staff in the university sector have lower satisfaction levels compared to the average level of those working across all education sectors. (Herald page 8 )


Student Debt: A chief financial ombudsmen has told MPs that students are reliant on payday lenders in order to solve their financial issues. (Herald page 11)