Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 21 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.
Devo-max warning: A report by the think-tank Fiscal Affairs Scotland suggests that the devo-max could result in a budget deficit of up to £5 billion based on the effects of declining oil revenues. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Record page 9, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Express page 1, Herald page 6, Mail page 8, P&J page 12, Courier page 19)
Lord McConnell: Former First Minister Lord McConnell has commented that further plans for devolution in Scotland must not be finalised in a “back-room deal”. (Scotsman page 4, Courier page 19)
Smith Commission: Representatives from five Scottish parties will today meet for the first time to discuss the way forward for Scottish devolution. (Record page 8, Express page 14)
Alex Massie in the Times comments on the similarities between current Scottish devolution talks and Irish Home Rule debate a century ago. (Times page 27)
Labour: George Kerevan comments in the Scotsman on the Scottish Labour Party’s uncertain future after witnessing the “massive new membership” of the SNP in action. Elizabeth Rigby comments in the Financial Times. (FT page 2, Express page 12)
David Cameron: Allan Massie in the Scotsman comments on the consequences of division within political parties, warning that David Cameron is in a “very uncomfortable position”. Patrick Wintour in the Guardian analyses Cameron’s attempts to “imitate” Ukip by handing crossbench peerage to controversial Sir Andrew Green from Migration Watch. Rafael Behr comments on Cameron’s attempts to tackle both Ukip and the migration issue, also in the Guardian.
Martin Sime: The chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is today expected to warn of an “orchestrated attempt to muzzle charities” by the Conservative party. Commenting in a speech to the Institute of Fundraising, he will reportedly claim that criticism of charity leaders by Conservative members could undermine public trust and lead to fundraising problems. (Herald page 1)
Angela Constance: One candidate for the SNP deputy leader position, Angela Constance, has called for a pro-independence alliance between parties in next general election. (P&J page 13, Courier page 19)
Oil revenues: Recent data has reportedly revealed a massive fall in oil and gas revenues from the North Sea, with the amount raised from taxes reaching around half of that from the same time last year. (John McLaren in the Scotsman, page 4)
Tax cuts: Tax cuts promised by George Osborne are reportedly under threat after figures show that public finances in the UK have deteriorated in spite of economic recovery. (FT page 1, Times page 10, Express page 2, Herald page 6, Mail page 10)
Shop sales: The Scottish Retail Consortium has confirmed that sales in September fell dramatically, showing the weakest numbers since records began in 1999. (Record page 9)
Scottish Welfare Fund: Scottish Government data has revealed that councils handed out £9.3million to struggling households from April-June this year, with the total figure more than trebling in the past year. (Herald page 7, Courier page 13)
Euthanasia: As Green MSP Patrick Harvie takes forward The Assisted Suicide Bill in the Scottish Parliament, campaigners with Care Not Killing have launched an online petition calling on MSPs to reject the bill, with some calling the proposals “unnecessary, unethical and uncontrollable”. (Scotsman page 8, Record page 2)
NHS staff shortages: NHS Grampian has received 635 complaints about staffing shortages from its own workers in the last 12 months. The figures are reportedly amongst the highest in Scotland. (P&J page 1)