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Reform Scotland Media Summary 28 January 2015

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 28 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
SNP Coalition: Ed Balls has said that he is opposed to a pact with the SNP if Labour fails to win a majority in the General Election, putting him at odds with Ed Miliband who has refused to rule out the possibility. (Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2, The National page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 8)

Tenant Farming: Scottish Land and Estates has warned that the Scottish Government may be left open to compensation claims as a result of plans to review tenant farming legislation.  (Scotsman page 4, The Times page 2, The Daily Telegraph page 5)

Nicola Sturgeon: Euan McColm argues in the Scotsman that Alex Salmond’s continued presence could pose a problem for the Nicola Sturgeon’s new style of leadership.

Rangers: Brian Donohoe MP has called for an official enquiry into the business dealings of Mike Ashley. (The Herald page 1, Daily Record page 1)

General Election: Ian Bell suggests in The Herald that a minority government may better represent the interests of voters in the General Election.

Trident: A new poll suggests that nearly a half of people in Scotland support the scrapping of Trident, compared to only a quarter in the UK. (The National page 7, Tasmina Ahmend Sheikh comments in The National, The Times page 8, Daily Mail page 1, P&J page 14)

Pensioner Benefits: David Cameron has rejected calls for a means test for wealthy pensioners. (The Times page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 10, Daily Express page 1, Tom Clark comments in the Guardian)

Alan Milburn: Alan Milburn has warned that Ed Miliband’s campaign focusing on the NHS is a ‘pale imitation’ of Neil Kinnock’s unsuccessful 1992 campaign. (The Times page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Guardian page 11)

Scottish left: Alex Massie argues in The Times that Labour and the SNP are indistinguishable to voters and that this similarity in world view contributes to the embittered nature of debates between the two. (The Times page 29)

Devolved Benefits: John Swinney has described UK government plans to give Holyrood powers to create its own benefits as ‘not credible’. (Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 9)

Access to pension pots: Harry Wallop asks in the Telegraph if the new rules allowing pensioners access to their pension pots will lead to a ‘grey pound’ bonanza.

Jim Murphy: Alan Cochrane suggests in the Telegraph that Jim Murphy’s shift to the left has alienated voters in the centre ground and left many wondering where he really stands.

Green Party: Chris Roycroft-Davis comments in the Daily Express that the Green party are spurned on by a disdain for everything that makes Britain what it is. (George Monibotcomments in the Guardian.

TV Debates: Ann Widecombe argues in the Daily Express that the nationalist parties should not be allowed into UK wide television debates.

Greece: Paul Gilbride suggests in the Daily Express that the success of the Syriza anti-austerity rhetoric in Greece may well have an influence on how Scotland votes in the General election.

Ed Miliband: Rafael Behr argues in the Guardian that Labour’s inability to come up with a plan to tackle inequality has led to ‘sclerosis’.

City Deal: Nick Clegg has said that he wants to sign off on a new deal for Aberdeen worth £26 million. (P&J page 1)

Economy
Scottish Film industry: Film City Glasgow have called for Nicola sturgeon to intervene in the ‘crisis’ facing the Scottish film and TV industry. (Scotsman page 3)

LBTT: Estate Agents Savills and Simpson Marwick have warned that the new Land and Buildings Transaction tax could lead to an exodus of wealth from Scotland. (Scotsman page 7, The Herald page 10, The Daily Telegraph page 1, Daily Mail page 34)

North Sea Oil: George Osborne has ruled out any immediate tax cuts for the North Sea oil and gas industry but suggested that there may be measures in the Budget to aid the struggling sector.  (The Herald page 6, The National page 13, P&J page 11)

Fracking: Fergus Ewing has come under pressure from Jim Murphy to stop fracking in Scotland. (The Herald page 7, Joan McAlpine comments in the Daily Record)

Whisky: A new Report has suggested that Scotland’s whisky is worth £5 billion to the UK economy. (Daily Record page 25, The National page 4, Daily Express page 2, The Guardian page 24, Daily Mail page 9)

UK GDP: Data from the Office of National Statistics has show that the UK grew at its fastest pace since 2007, although it has been criticised by the Scottish Trade Unions’ Congress for failing to deliver rebalancing of the economy. (The National page 2, Financial Times page 1, Daily Mail page 2)

Education
Scottish Highers: Almost half of pupils will sit the old qualification amid concerns around the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence. (Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 9, The Courier page 17)

University Funding: Scottish Universities have seen £20 million withdrawn from their budget by the Scottish Funding Council, despite research standards rising last year. (The Herald page 2)

Local Government
Suspended Staff: Over £2 million is spent each year by local councils on wages for staff on gardening leave or suspended, according to Eben Wilson of Taxpayer Scotland. (The Sun page 4, Daily Express page 5)

V&A Funding: Dundee City Council has agreed to conduct an independent investigation in to the spiralling costs of the V&A museum. (The Times page 1, The Courier page 1)


Justice

Women’s Prison: Following the cancellation of £75 million facility at Inverclyde, a new women’s prison will be built at Cornton Vale. (Scotsman page 14, Chris Marshall in the Scotsman, Stephen Naysmith in The Herald, Daily Record page 2)

Health
Assisted Suicide: Baroness Finlay of Llandaff has told MSPs that decisions over requests for assisted suicide should be decided by courts not doctors. (Scotsman page 4, The Herald page 5, The Sun page 26, The Courier page 15, Daily Mail page 4, P&J page 15)