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Reform Scotland Media Summary 19 December 2014

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  19 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.

Please note that there will be no media summaries over the holiday period and they will resume on 5 January 2015.  We wish all subscribers a happy Christmas and a good New Year.

Politics
North Sea oil: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has described the crisis facing the North Sea oil and gas industry as deeply worrying.  While Scottish Labour Deputy leader Kezia Dugdale used her first appearance at First Minister’s Questions to demand an emergency plan from the Scottish Government to save oil industry jobs following the fall in the price of oil. This comes amid a warning from Robin Allan, Chair of the Independent Explorers’ Association Brindex, that the industry is ‘close to collapse’. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 4 and page 4, Record page 8, Express page 1, Sun page 2, Times page 3, FT page 3, Telegraph page 1, National page 2 and 3, P&J page 16, Courier page 16, Mail page 8)

Jim Murphy: Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has finalised his team and handed the role of policy and manifesto co-ordinator to his leadership rival Sarah Boyack. (Scotsmanpage 4)

Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman comments on whether Jim Murphy is the right person for the job of Scottish Labour leader.

Trident: The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has reaffirmed his commitment to Faslane naval base saying ‘now is not the time to start rethinking.’ (Herald page 2, Scotsman page 6, Record page 2, Times page 2, Telegraph page 2)

Smith Commission: The plans to hand Scotland new tax powers are said by the Institute for Fiscal Studies to be ‘fraught with practical difficulties’ and ‘unworkable’ in some key areas. (Scotsman page 4, Courier page 17)

Drink Drive Limit: According to a survey published by road safety charity Brake, 43% of UK motorists back a ‘zero tolerance’ drink drive limit lower than the one introduced in Scotland. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 11)

Land and Buildings Tax: According to the First Minister, Scottish Conservative plans for a tax cut on property purchases would help those on higher incomes who would be £12,600 better off, while the majority would only save £100. (Herald page 6, P&J page 17)

Independence Referendum: A Treasury civil servant is to be investigated over claims he broke civil service impartiality rules. (National page 1 and 8)

Economy
Green Energy: The latest figures show that renewable account for 32% of Scottish electricity, matching the amount produced by fossil fuels for the first time. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 11, National page 5, Patrick Harvie in The National page 10, Mail page 8)

House Prices: House prices in Scotland will rise by 4% next year as demand continues to outstrip supply according to surveyors. (Express page 10, Herald page 4, Times page 25)

Education
Lessons in car park: Pupils at Hillhead Primary School will take dance and drama classes in the school’s underground car park in a controversial plan to alleviate overcrowding. (Herald page 8)

Health
C Diff: Two patients have died and a further 14 are still ill following an outbreak of Clostridium Difficile at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. (Herald page 1, Scotsman pages 1 and 6, Sun page 1, Mail page 2)