Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 12 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.
Devo Max: Nicola Sturgeon has commented that the SNP will press for “devo max” including full fiscal autonomy, as soon as possible after the General Election in May. (The Herald page 1, Magnus Gardham in The Herald, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Scotsman page 6, The National page 1, The Sun page 8, The Daily Express page 2, The Daily Record page 4, The Press and Journal page 11, The Courier page 16, The Scottish Daily Mail page 8).
Electricity Demand: Scotland is set to become increasingly reliant on power stations south the Border to meet its energy needs, MSPs have been told during the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee at Holyrood yesterday (The Herald page 6).
Illegal Donations: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP is at the centre of a donation row after it was alleged that a key member of Nick Clegg’s inner circle accepted a potentially illegal donation for the Liberal Democrats and arranged a private meeting for the would-be donor (The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Herald page 1).
European Union: SNP ministers have been accused of hiding the truth about the cost of an independent Scotland’s membership of the European Union after The Times revealed they had private concerns about the financial implications (The Times page 10, The Courier page 16).
Online party debate: The main UK party leaders, David Cameron, Ed Miliband , Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage and Natalie Bennett are reportedly considering an invitation from The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Google to a five-way election debate broadcast on the internet (The Daily Telegraph page 8, The Guardian page 8).
TV Debate: Former First Minister Alex Salmond reportedly turned down a television debate with David Cameron for fear of overshadowing Nicola Sturgeon. ( The Daily Telegraph page 12, The Scotsman page 8, The Times page 10, The Press and Journal page 14, The Courier page 17, The Scottish Daily Mail page 8, Torcuil Crichton in the Daily Record) .
Mocked-up Images: Equality groups and politicians from all parties have joined together to criticise the Sun’s decision to photoshop Nicola Sturgeon’s head on the body of Miley Cyrus to create an image perceived as “clear misogyny” (The National page 14, The Daily Record page 2).
Voting issues: Former SNP MSP Jim Sillars has declared as a “democratic emergency” over mass confusion surrounding the new voting legislation in Scotland (The Nationalpage 4).
Scottish contradictory views: Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman and Lesley Riddoch in the National comment on a survey suggesting that Scots’ attitude to immigration and to an EU referendum are in tune with the rest of the UK.
GERS: Public spending in Scotland was around £1,200 per head higher than the UK average in the last financial year, whilst revenues raised was about £400 higher per head, according to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures that were published yesterday (The Scotsman page 6, Iain Macwhirter in the Herald, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp in the National, John McLaren in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Times).
Longannet: The heads of both Scottish Power, which operates the Fife plant, and Scottish and Southern energy, confirmed to MSPs that a decision would be made for its future at the end of the month, which could lead to the cessation of all activities by the end of March (The Courier page 3)
NHS: Care of the elderly in many hospitals has fallen below basic standards because of the pressure on services, according to a report by the Royal College of Nursing Scotland (The Herald page 1, The Scotsman page 11, the Times page 2).
Child Mental Health: Official data shows a record number of youngsters admitted to hospitals for self-harm, eating disorders, depression and other psychological disorders (The Times page 1)
University Benefits: SNP ministers should reconsider the affordability of university benefits because “they mainly help the better off”, the leader of Scotland’s main group of councils, David O’Neill, is expected to say today. (The Daily Telegraph page 12, The Press and Journal page 13)