Reform Scotland Media Summary 11 December 2014

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  11 December 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
Meeting the Queen: Nicola Sturgeon had her first meeting with the Queen yesterday since she took over as First Minister. She insisted she had no issues with any comments made by the Queen in the run up to the Independence vote. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Record page 9, Times page 19, Express page 2, Telegraph page 6, National page 3, Herald page 1, Mail page 10, P&J page 12)

Anti-migrant talk: Nicola Sturgeon yesterday claimed that the world’s top talent is being scared away from Scotland by damaging anti-migrant talk. This comes as the First Minister renewed the debate of whether immigration should be a devolved matter. (Sun page 2, Times page 2, Herald page 6)

Smith Report: Senior SNP MSP Christine Grahame yesterday claimed that No voters were ‘cheated’ in the independence referendum and insisted she would never have signed up to the Smith Commission proposals. (Telegraph page 6)

Independence Referendum: Alex Salmond has now back tracked on his claim that the referendum was a ‘once in-a-lifetime opportunity’; he now believes there will be another in his lifetime. (Herald page 6)

Labour Leadership: Scottish Labour leadership frontrunner Jim Murphy has called for unity within the party whoever wins the campaign, after voting closed yesterday. (Scotsman page 6, Record page 7, Herald page 2)

Yes Alliance:
Pat Kane comments in the Scotsman that an alliance between the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens could allow for ‘whole island reform’ and could help Ed Miliband to power.

Iain MacWhirter has commented in the Herald that Nicola Sturgeon still has to convince many people as cracks begin to show in Yes Alliance.

Economy
Tax delay:  A report by Audit Scotland has found that the new tax to replace stamp duty could take longer than anticipated and cost more due to staffing and IT problems. Experts have warned that the Scottish Government are unprepared for new taxation powers due to be handed over from April 1. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 2, Record page 6, Times page 5, Express page 1, Telegraph page 1, Herald page 1, P&J page 16)

Benefits Cap: Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has announced the Tories intentions to launch a ‘low tax commission’ which would examine how Scotland could become ‘a dynamic low-tax nation’. (Record page 6, Herald page 6)

Council Job Cuts: Calculations made by local government union Unison have shown that up to 40,000 council jobs could be at risk. This comes as Edinburgh City Council prepares to meet to consider cutting several middle management positions. (National page 4)

Offshore Job Losses: North East MSP Lewis MacDonald has pledged to press the Scottish Government on steps to protect the local economy after it emerged this week that 35,000 North Sea jobs could be cut over the next 5 years. (P&J page 10)

Education
Teaching Cuts: Critics have accused the SNP of failure after statistics showed teaching numbers have hit a ten-year low after jobs have been axed across Scotland over the last year. This has prompted fears pupils ‘high-quality learning’ is under threat. (Scotsman page 7, Record page 2, Times page 25, Express page 4, Telegraph page 6, Herald page 1, Mail page 11)

Justice
Rendition Flights: Scotland’s most senior law officer Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland has instructed Police Scotland to study a report on CIA torture. This is part of an ongoing investigation into rendition flights carrying terror suspects landing at Scottish airports. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 6, National page 2, Herald page 8, Mail page 1, P&J page 19)

Missing People Approach: Police Scotland yesterday announced a new partnership with the charity Missing People; this comes as the Police revealed a new approach which could help solve some of the nation’s most enduring cases. (Scotsman page 14)

Health
Unpaid Medical Bills: Figures revealed from a Freedom of Information request have shown that foreign patients have run up nearly £2million in unpaid medical bills in Scotland. This figure has more than doubled over 2 years. (Record page 2, Express page 17)

Ebola Virus: Scotland’s top microbiologist Hugh Pennington has warned the secret trade in bush meat poses the biggest threat of the deadly Ebola virus spreading to Scotland. (Express page 17)

Health Inequalities: A new study by researchers at the Scottish Public Health Observatory have found that the introduction of a Living Wage and benefit increases made differences to weight loss and stopping smoking. (National page 5)

Lesley Riddoch has commented in the National that the drop in alcohol sales may not reflect changing habits.