Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 25 February 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.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Sir Malcolm Rifkind has stepped down as chairman of Westminster’s intelligence and security committee and will also stand down as an MP at the general election following cash-for-access allegations. (Scotsman page 1, Allan Massie in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Ian Bell in the Herald, Sun page 2, Times page 1, National page 3, Express page 7, Record page 8, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Mail page 4, Guardian page 4, P&J page 13, Courier page 13)
Tax commission: The Scottish Conservatives have set up a commission on “competitive and fair taxation” to be headed by Iain McMillan, the former Scotland director of the CBI. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Express page 2, telegraph page 8, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Mail page 12)
Referendum: Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman considers the likelihood of a second Scottish independence referendum.
Coalition: Labour peer Lewis Moonie has reportedly commented that Labour would be better off in a coalition with the Tories, than in one with the SNP. (National page 4)
OECD: Angel Gurria, head of the OECD, has commented that George Osborne deserved a “pat on the back” over the government’s long-term economic plan, but warned recovery could be in jeopardy unless productivity improved. (Scotsman page 8, Times page 2, Mail page 6)
Energy: In at debate at Holyrood today, the Conservatives are expected to call for new power stations to be built in Scotland to maintain electricity supply. (Scotsman page 14, Express page 2)
House prices: A report by Savills predicts that house prices in Scotland will grow faster this than those in the rest of the UK. (Herald page 8)
Oil: Alex Russell, professor of petroleum accounting at Robert Gordon University, has commented that the UK Government was “playing politics” with the future of the North Sea oil industry. (National page 1)
George Osborne has reportedly hinted that at a cut in North Sea taxes will be included in the Budget. (P&J Page 1)
FTSE: The FTSE 100 index closed at 6949.6 yesterday, returning to the level it reached in 1999. (Telegraph page 1, FT page 1, Mail page 1)
Stop and search: Police Scotland has commented that it is improving its stop and search database following errors in how information was stored. (Scotsman page 4, Chris Marshall in the Scotsman, National page 12, Record page 2)
Waiting times: Scottish ministers are reportedly under pressure to scrap the Treatment Time Guarantee after statistics suggested that the number of people having their legal right breached has doubled since the law came into force. (Herald page 1, Sun page 2, National page 10, Express page 2, Record page 2, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 18)
Schools: Alex Massie in the Times comments on the performance of Scottish schools.
High-speed rail: Infrastructure secretary Keith Brown has called on the UK Government to invest in Scottish infrastructure and to extend high-speed rail to Scotland. (Scotsmanpage 4, Record page 2)