Reform Scotland News: 3 October 2014


Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  3 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.



Poll Tax Debts: First Minister Alex Salmond has announced that all Poll Tax debts will be effectively written off, as an increase in electoral registrations led to fears that this would be used to chase old debts. (Scotsman page 1 , Herald page 1 , Daily Mail Page 1 , Telegraph page 1 , Daily Express Page 1 , Sun page 2 , Daily Record page 1 , Times page 5 , Press & Journal page 13 , The Courier page 18)


Human Rights: The Conservative Party will announce plans to claim Human Rights powers for the UK, and to disregard rulings from the European Court of Human Rights. (Financial Times page 1 , UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in the Financial Times page 13 , Herald page 6 , Daily Mail page 6 , Guardian page 1 , Telegraph page 1)


2015 General Election: Following announcements on tax cuts, the Conservatives have recorded a lead in an opinion poll. Education Minister David Laws has said a coalition between Liberal Democrats and Labour following the next election would be unlikely due to differences in policies for reducing the deficit. (Times page 1, Daily Mail page 2 , Herald page 2 , Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian)


John McTernan in The Scotsman discusses the effect David Cameron’s conference speech will have on the next election.


Scottish Elections: 40% of voters intend to vote SNP in the next Scottish elections, according to a poll by Panelbase. (Daily Record page 7 , Daily Mail page 2 , The Courier page 19)


Welfare Reform: Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for welfare reforms to be delayed until further devolution for Scotland is agreed. (Scotsman page 3 , Daily Mail page 2 , Daily Express page 5 , Press & Journal page 13)


David Watt in the Scotsman (page 3) discusses the need for Welfare Reform.


MSP Twitter Link: MSP Joan McAlpine has apologised for any offence caused by sharing an article on Twitter that seemingly criticised David Cameron’s mention of his son Ivan during his Conservative Conference Speech. (Scotsman page 2 , Herald page 6 , Daily Mail page 4 , Sun page 2)


Coalition In-fighting: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the relationship between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Westminster is at a “new low”. (Scotsman page 7 , Daily Mail page 6)


Civil Service Chief Executive: The current head of the Major Projects Authority, John Manzoni, has been named as the first Chief Executive of the Civil Service and will start his post in Whitehall next month. (Scotsman page 8 , Guardian Page 16)


Further Devolution: A source close the Prime Minister has reportedly said Scotland will have to wait 3 years for further devolution to be implemented. (Herald page 2).


The Future of the leftwing movement in Scotland is discussed. (Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman, Guardian pages 18-19)


Martin Wolf in the Financial Times (page 13) discusses Federalism in the UK.


Deficit: Labour and Conservatives have been criticised for unrealistic announcements on tax and spending. (Herald page 6 , Financial Times page 3 , Guardian Page 8 , Simon Jenkins in the Guardian)


Party Conferences: Alison Rowat in the Herald (page 13) discusses the Liberal Democrats’ Party Conference in Glasgow starting this weekend.



Scotsman Titles to Merge: Plans mean The Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News are likely to merge in attempts to cut costs. (Times page 16)


Wonga Writes Off Debt: Payday loan company Wonga has written off £220m of debt following an admission that it had given loans to people who could not afford to pay them back. (Scotsman page 1 , Herald page 9 , Daily Mail page 11 , Guardian page 3 , Nils Pratley in the Guardian page 36 , Daily Record page 2 , The Courier page 14)


Velux Factory to Close: Velux Windows factory in Glenrothes will close by autumn 2015, resulting in the loss of 180 jobs. (Scotsman page 2 , Herald page 3 , Daily Mail page 24 , Daily Record page 2 , The Courier page 13)


Edinburgh Office Space Shortage: An Edinburgh City Council report has said that there will soon be a shortage of grade-A Office Space in the City. (Scotsman page 6)


Energy Companies facing loss of customers: Analysis by Citigroup has said that by 2020 a quarter of customers using the Big 6 Energy companies could leave. (Scotsman page 15)


Energy Contracts: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has criticised the Department of Energy and Climate Change for awarding poor value contracts for renewable energy. (Herald page 2)


Major Events Hotel Rates Increase: Hotels across Scotland recorded yearly increases to room rates due to events such as the Commonwealth Games. (Herald page 9)



Police Chief Powers Criticised: First Minister Alex Salmond has rejected criticism of the powers of Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House. (Herald page 6)


MacAskill Criticism: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has been criticised by Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, who has called for his resignation. (Daily Express page 5 , Daily Mail page 10 , Daily Record page 7 , Telegraph Page 6 , Time page 5 , The Courier page 19)



Edinburgh College Head to Resign: Mandy Exley, Principal of Edinburgh College who led the merger of three former colleges, will leave in June 2015. (Herald page 5)


Scottish Universities Top Student Life Poll: A number of Scottish Universities have been rated as some of the best for student life in the UK. (Herald page 9)


Education Reform: Andrew Denholm in the Herald discusses reform to Schools.



Caledonian Sleeper: Serco, the company awarded the new franchise for the Caledonian Sleeper train service, has had to seek financial backing to deliver on promises made in its bid. (Herald page 4)


Nova Scotia Flights: Low-Cost Canadian Airline WestJet has announced its first direct UK route between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Glasgow, flying daily from May 30th to October 24th next year. (Herald page 8)



NHS Funding: Ruth Davidson has criticised Alex Salmond for going back on promises to match NHS funding in England (Telegraph page 7 , Daily Record page 7 , Daily Express Page 5 , Sun page 2 , Times page 6 , The Courier page 18)


Disabled Benefit Recipients Suffer Delay: A report by Citizens Advice Scotland has said thousands of sick and disabled people in Scotland have had benefit payments delayed, leading to serious hardship. (Scotsman page 3 , The Courier page 19)


NHS ‘Unattractive’ to Doctors: The British Medical Association has given recommendations to NHS Scotland that Doctors’ pay should increase above the rate of inflation. (Scotsman page 11)


NHS Issues: Lyndsay Buckland discusses the issues facing the NHS.