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Reform Scotland Media Summary 10 March 2015

Reform Scotland
Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 10 March 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
General election: Ian Macwhirter in the Herald warns that the general election campaign is turning into a ‘vile witch hunt’

Magnus Linklater in the Times comments that whether Labour commits to a deal with the SNP or not, they will ultimately lose out (page 15)

Nicola Sturgeon: The First Minister has launched an angry attack on UK civil servants branding them ‘transparently party political’ in a letter to Whitehall, reportedly following a Treasury report published yesterday which claimed that the SNP’s anti-austerity spending plans would drive up UK debt (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 6, National page 1, The Sun page 3)

Tory campaign ad: Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has hit out at the Conservatives most recent campaign poster featuring Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond, saying they are using the fear of an SNP/Labour deal to distract the public from David Cameron’s attempts to evade a televised election debate (Scotsman page 6, Daily Express page 8, Guardian page 11)

SNP/Labour deal: Ed Miliband has been urged to rule out any kind of post election deal with the SNP, to stop Labour voters abandoning the party north and south of the border before the election as a UK wide poll showed people are two to one against the SNP playing any part in the Westminster government (Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 4, Daily Mail page 8)

Meanwhile, The Times reports that Scottish Labour MPs are telling voters on the doorstep that they will not do a post election deal with the SNP, despite the leadership still failing to rule out the move definitively (Times page 1)

SNP fiscal autonomy: The SNP’s demand for full fiscal autonomy is predicted to leave a £6.5bn gap in finances north of the border, a Scottish affairs select committee report has found (Scotsman page 5, Daily Record page 3, Daily Telegraph page 1,Herald page 6)

Conservative poll boost: A YouGov poll has shown more voters think Britain and their families will be better off under David Cameron’s stewardship of the economy than under Ed Miliband’s. (Herald page 1)

Land reform: Holyrood proposals for land reform are ‘state control through the back door’ Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has claimed, saying that it could prevent people from passing their homes on to the family member of their choice (Scotsman page 12, Daily Express page 2, Daily Mail page 17)

The Budget: David Cameron has said that the priority in next week’s budget will be security for families (Scotsman page 5)

EU exit: Gordon Brown has warned that an EU exit would leave the UK out in the cold, with few friends and no influence (Herald page 6)

Economy
Oil Jobs: The Scottish government has backed calls for the UK’s key oil and gas industry figures to be moved to Aberdeen in a package of ‘substantive action’ to tackle the crisis facing the industry (Scotsman page 1, National page 5, The Sun page 2, Press & Journal page 12-13)

Oil: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the ‘stormy’ outlook of Scots oil income, with new figures suggesting that a fiscally independent Scotland would struggle.

Scots jobs market warnings: Scotland’s economic recovery has been thrown into question by new figures suggesting the jobs market is struggling, despite official figures showing record numbers of people in work (Herald page 1, The Sun page 2)

Aberdeen oil investment: Industry representative Oil and Gas UK has said a city region deal outlining £2.9bn of investment into the city of Aberdeen that is set to build new infrastructure, is essential for keeping the UK oil industry competitive against other oil hubs such as Houston and Dubai (Press and Journal 4-5)

Trade Unions call for action: Trade Unions have told Chancellor George Osborne that the coalition’s austerity policies have failed and are urging him to signal a change in policy in his budget statement on March 18, as they claim real wages are collapsing (National page 4)

Health
NHS ID database: Data privacy campaigners have warned of a possible legal challenge over Scottish government plans to create a super ID database, claiming that such a database could be in breach of human rights and data protection laws (Herald page 8)

Justice
Private prisons: Kenny Macaskill in the National comments on the need for prisons to stay in public hands, in light of recent financial problems surrounding private prison HMP Addiewell (page 15)

Education   
Teaching of creationism: MSP’s today are to debate a ban on the teaching of creationism in Scots schools (Herald page 6)

Career choices: Colleges Scotland and education experts have issued warnings that schools are forcing children as young as 13 to choose their future career path when they are often unsure of themselves or their options, and have made calls to defer choices decisions to be deferred beyond S2 (National page 9)