Reform Scotland Media Summary 26 February 2015

Political Newspaper Summary: 26 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.

Politics
License fee: Westminster’s culture, media and sport committee has criticised the current BBC license fee model and recommended that it is replaced with a cheaper, German-style broadcasting levy on all households. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 4, Telegraph page 4, Mail page 10, Guardian page 1)

Second jobs:  David Cameron has defended the right of MPs to do second jobs, insisting that extra work can be fitted around constituency duties. (Scotsman page 6, National page 2, Times page 12, Herald page 6)

Ed Balls: Ed Balls is expected to reject Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for the next UK Government to spend an extra £180bn over the next five years. (Scotsman page 7, Heraldpage 6)

Nato spending: George Osborne has reportedly indicated that UK defence spending will fall below the Nato minimum of 2% of GDP. (Scotsman page 7, Sun page 2, Times page 6, FT page 2, Mail page 20)

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Tom Peterkin in the Scotsman and Lesley Riddoch in the National comment on the cash-for-access allegations surrounding Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Vote Tory: Lord Foulkes has reportedly suggested that voters in some general election constituencies should vote Tory to prevent the SNP from winning. (Sun page 2)

Scottish Water: Green MSP Alison Johnstone has criticised Scottish Government plans to give a £350m contract to supply Scottish schools, hospitals and prisons to an English private water company. (National page 1)

Land reform: RICS has warned that the Scottish Government’s land reform proposals risked creating “disputes and confrontations” between landowners and tenant farmers and have overlooked the threat to Scottish food production. (Telegraph page 6)

Fathers: Fathers have reportedly been left out of guidelines issued on the introduction of a state guardian for every child in Scotland. (Mail page 1)
 
Economy
Oil & gas: Oil & Gas Authority chief executive Andy Samuel has a more competitive and efficient operating environment must be created if the economic potential remaining in the North Sea was to be realised. (Scotsman page 8)

Recovery: Bill Jamieson in the Scotland comments on the economic recovery.

Low pay: More than eight in 10 new jobs created in Scotland are reportedly in low paid industries. (Herald page 1, Record page 20, Guardian page 7)

Longannet: Scottish Power, which operates Scotland’s last coal-fired power station, is reportedly set to announce next month that the plant will close by mid-2016. (Herald page 1, Mail page 30, Courier page 21, Fergus Ewing in the Courier)

Health
Waiting times: Iain Macwhirter in the Herald comments on bed blocking.
Devolving health: Simon Jenkins in the Guardian comments on the decision to give Manchester control of its health spending.

Education
Childcare: The Scottish Government aims to spend £880m per year on childcare by 2020. (Herald page 6, Record page 16, Express page 2, Mail page 4)

University places: Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans for a commission on “widening access” to ensure pupils in more deprived backgrounds have the same chance as their peers elsewhere of attending university. (Telegraph page 2)