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Reform Scotland Media Summary 13 January 2015

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 13 January 2015

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

Freedom of expression: Michael Gray in the National, has said that the public must challenge their leaders to ensure the freedom of expression, in light of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (page 10)

Hugh Reilly: Hugh Reilly in the Scotsman has called for a proper plan of action into educational disparity.

Jim Murphy: Alex Massie in The Times, warns that Jim Murphy must come out fighting if he is take on the SNP (page 25)

Devolution:  Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has warned that the SNP could get independence ‘through the back door’, through an ultra extreme post-election deal. (Scotsman page 14)

David Cameron: The Prime Minister and security chiefs have agreed to review the UK’s defence against terrorism, including increasing the security services’ powers to monitor online and telephone conversations between terror suspects (Scotsman page 7, Daily Telegraph page 8, The Guardian page 1)

Anti- Terror Laws: UK governments proposals to strengthen Britain’s terror laws have come under fire from a number Scottish lawyers who warn they could be successfully challenged under the European Convention of Human Rights (Herald page 2)

The National reports that academic freedom, the right to a fair trial and free speech all could be threatened, as concerns are raised from parliamentary watchdogs and professional bodies surrounding the proposed Counter Terrorism and Security Bill that is due to have its second reading today (The National page 2)

Labour Spending Plans: A top economist from the Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned that Labours plans to reduce spending cuts if it wins the election would mean borrowing up to £50bn a year more by 2020 than the Conservatives (The Times page 1)

Economy

Pensions: It has been reported that nearly 2 million pensioners are to miss out on their full pension (Herald page 10, Daily Express page 1, Times page 20, Courier page 20)

Citylink:  MP’s have pledged to get to the bottom of City Link’s collapse, as members of the Scottish affairs committee met with a number of workers and sub contractors yesterday (Scotsman page 10, The National page 8, The Courier page 14)

Airports: Passenger numbers at Scotland’s biggest airports, reportedly soared last year according to new figures released, with Edinburgh Airport attributing the rise to an increase in long haul traffic after new services to destinations such as Doha, Chicago and Philadelphia were introduced (Scotsman page 10, The National page 27)

Oil Prices: Crisis talks are expected to be held, as energy firms are reportedly set to pull the plug on £2bn worth of investment in North Sea, amidst plummeting oil prices (Heraldpage 1, Daily Record page 8, Times page 5, Press and Journal page 12, Daily Mail page 2)

A survey has found that more than two thirds of oil workers are concerned about falling oil prices and the impact this may have on the future of the sector (Scotsman, page 14, Daily Express page 14, The National page 12, Daily Telegraph page 12, Courier page 2 )

Danny Alexander: Danny Alexander has said that oil industry can ‘ride out the storm’ in an exclusive article for the Press and Journal today (page 11)

Milk Cash: Scottish Dairy farmers are facing a financial crisis as milk cooperatives have held back payments and farmers are set to face decreasing prices (Daily Express page 16, Herald page 4, National page 27, Daily Mail, page 19)

Education

Nursery Child Care: Calls have been made for an independent enquiry into a Scottish government initiative offering free childcare as parents are reportedly struggling to access places in their chosen nursery (Herald page 7)

School Safety: Experts have grouped together to improve the safety of Scotland’s school buildings in light of a recent tragedy at Liberton High school (Scotsman page 8)

Charity Regulator Criticism: The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) was criticised yesterday by the Scottish Parliament for their decisions on whether Scottish private schools should keep their charitable status (Herald page 7)

Health

Cancer Drug: The Scottish Medicines Consortium has recommended the use of the drug Erbitux, that offers to boost bowel cancer survival rates, and extend life for two more years for late-stage bowel cancer patients. (Scotsman page 12, Daily Express page 5, Press and Journal page 14)

Heroin: A world authority on drug abuse, Swiss expert Thilo Becker, has called for Scotland to provide heroin on the NHS (Herald page 10)

Hospitals: Health Secretary Shona Robison has pledged an extra £15m of funding to Aberdeen
Royal Infirmary during her visit yesterday, following a critical report that highlighted weaknesses in leadership and management earlier in the year (The National page 12)

Local Government

Foster Care: Many local authorities are reportedly struggling to recruit enough carers to meet the demand of children. Barnardo’s Scotland are launching a campaign to recruit 850 carers to provide homes and respite placements (The Daily Record page 22)