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Reform Scotland News:  7 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

Politics

Vince Cable: Vince Cable has accused David Cameron of “lying” over tax cuts and commented that the Tories were “ideologically obsessed” with cuts. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Express page 2, Telegraph page 10, FT page 2, Courier page 21, P&Jpage 14)

Benefits freeze: The Conservatives’ proposed freeze on benefits would reportedly affect 900,000 Scottish households according to research published by the Scottish Parliament. (Scotsman page 10, Record page 9)

More powers: Willie Rennie has claimed plans to devolve more powers to Holyrood are being held back by “forces of conservatism” and called on both Labour and the Tories to improve upon their proposals. (Herald page 6, Courier page 20)

Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on plans for greater devolution.

Labour: Labour donor John Mills and Dame Tess Jowell have reportedly criticised Ed Miliband’s proposals for a mansion tax. (Times page 1)

Nick Clegg: In his conference speech tomorrow Nick Clegg is expected to promise to increase the personal allowance to £11,000 in the first year of a new parliament. (Sun page 2, Janan Ganesh in the FT, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian)

Hard choices: Robert Peston in the Times comments that both Labour and the Tories have not been honest about the hard finical choices we face.

Keith Brown: Jim Sillars has backed Keith Brown to be the new deputy SNP leader. (Herald page 7, Express page 2, Record page 9, Mail page 6, Courier page 18, P&J page 12)

Economy

Energy: Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey is expected to announce today that consumers will be able to switch suppliers within two weeks to give smaller firms a greater share of the market.   He has already announced an additional £100m to fund energy-saving home improvements. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 6, P&J page 14)

Hunterston: Cracks have reportedly been found in two of the graphite bricks that form the core of reactor number four at Hunterston B nuclear power station. (Express page 1, Record page 4, Telegraph page 5)

Scottish Enterprise: Scottish Enterprise reportedly had to write off £13m of bad investments last year, an increase of 40% on the previous year. (Herald page 1)

Retirement: The Department for Work and Pensions reportedly commented in its business plan that they would like the pension age to rise by as much as six months every year. (Telegraph page 1)

Health

Abortion: The Association of Clinical Embryologists has commented that it strongly opposed devolution of abortion law, raising concerns about how separate regimes would be regulated and the practical consequences for patients, should Scotland adopt different laws. (Herald page 1)

Justice

Resignation call:  Opposition parties have lodged a parliamentary motion calling on Kenny MacAskill to resign as justice secretary over his handling of the armed police issue, concerns over stop and search and accusations of “manipulated” crime figures. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 6, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 2, Mail page 6, Graham Grant in the Mail, Courier page 21)

Court closures: Opposition parties have claimed that recent court closures in Scotland have led to logjams getting “steadily worse”. (Scotsman page 11)

Sex offenders: Sex offenders are reportedly being taken on escorted recreational outings so that they are not “socially isolated”. (Mail page 1)
 

Transport

Virgin: Virgin Atlantic is reportedly ending its Little Red network, which has flights between Heathrow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  (Scotsman page 1, Mail page 19, P&J page 1)

Forth Bridge: The new Forth crossing is now expected to be built for £50m less than the original estimate.  (Sun page 2, Herald page 7, Record page 2, Courier page 8, P&J page 13)