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Reform Scotland Media Summary 17 March 2015

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 17 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
SNP/Labour coalition: Labour leader Ed Miliband has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP, though has not ruled out other forms of informal deals including the ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement that SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she would prefer, where her party would support Labour on an issue by issue basis (Scotsman page 1, The Times page 1,Telegraph page 1, The Sun page 6&7, Daily Express page 2, Daily Record page 1, Financial Times page 2, The Guardian page 13, Daily Mail page 1, The Courier page 14&15, Press & Journal page 13)

Meanwhile, The Herald reports that Labour and the SNP have fallen out over the potential post election pact, with the SNP accusing Labour of risking another five years Tory government by ruling out any formal coalition with the party (page 1)

Iain Macwhirter in The Herald comments that Nicola Sturgeon is playing ‘clever politics’, in light of her successful visit to London yesterday (page 15)

Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph warns that Miliband ruling out a coalition with the SNP won’t stop the SNP holding Labour to ransom (Telegraph page 4)

ICM poll: The Guardian reports that the latest ICM poll puts the Conservatives one point ahead of Labour, with 43% of those polled concerned about the role the SNP may have in government (page 2)

Lib Dem Gordon seat: The Daily Mail reports that Lib Dem Westminster strategists are concentrating their attention to Scotland to and have written off a number of south west constituencies in favour of focusing on the 11 seats they currently hold in Scotland and in particular the Gordon constituency that Alex Salmond is contesting (page 6)

Leaders debates: The Scottish Greens yesterday submitted a petition to STV headquarters in Glasgow, with more than 10,000 signatures, objecting to their exclusion from the leaders debates and calling for a place in the debates that are due to be broadcast on STV ahead of May’s general election (Scotsman page 5)

Sexism in politics: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that sexist portrayals of women in the media, such as the recent mocked-up image of her in a tartan bikini printed in The Sun, have the potential to deter women from entering politics (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 2, Times page 17)

Alex Salmond: The former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has branded David Cameron ‘a silly arrogant man’ in his latest extracts from his referendum memoirs, TheDream Shall Never Die (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, The Sun page 12&13)

New tax powers: Public spending watchdog, Audit Scotland, has said in reports published today that the Scottish government needs to improve the quality and transparency of its accounts before new tax powers are devolved to Holyrood (page 2)

Scots poverty: Over 1 in 10 Scots are living in severe poverty, with low pay, rising housing costs and welfare reforms being blamed for new figures that show the depth of Scotland’s poverty crisis, with the SNP claiming the austerity measures introduced by the coalition government are to blame, and their critics saying the SNP have done little to address this problem (Herald page 7, The Sun page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Record page 2)

Fracking: The owners of Grangemouth petro-chemical plant are preparing to reveal how they will consult with communities affected by its shale gas plans (Herald page 1, Times page 4)

Economy

Fiscal autonomy: Peter Jones in The Scotsman claims that full fiscal autonomy would have the exact opposite effect Nicola Sturgeon claims it would offer, leading to Scots paying billions more in tax (page 23)

National Minimum Wage: David Cameron and Nick Clegg have announced today the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since the financial crash from £6.50 to £6.70, expected to benefit over 100,000 Scots (Herald page 6, Times page 2)

In-work benefits: Nicola Sturgeon has called on the Chancellor to increase the allowance for in work benefits, to help lift people out of ‘in-work poverty’ (Herald page 6)

North Sea oil: Sir Ian Wood has said that the budget due to be unveiled tomorrow is ‘the most important’ in terms of the future of the North Sea oil industry and must present a watershed budget to prevent a collapse in confidence (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 8, Daily Mail page 2)

North Sea oil summit: The UK has been told to organise an international summit of ministers to safeguard the future of North Sea Oil industry by a group of peers in a recommendation from a report by the House of Lords European Union Committee following an in depth inquiry (Press and Journal page 11)

Health

Ebola: Scottish health workers, military personnel and charities have made a profound contribution to the UK’s response to the Ebola crisis, development ministers Baroness Northover has said. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 5, Courier page 16)