Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 18 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.
The Budget: The Chancellor will reportedly scrap yearly tax returns and replace them with a digital pay as you go service when he presents his budget this afternoon. Further, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has claimed that the Coalition has added £2.3 billion to the Scottish budget over the last five years, although John Swinney has said that the UK Government has really cut it by £3.5 billion (The Scotsman page 1, The Heraldpage 1, Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 8, Daily Express page 5, Daily Mail page 1, The Herald page 6, The FT page 1, The Sun page 2, The National page 3, The Times page 1)
Nigel Lawson comments on the budget in the Daily Telegraph and Daniel Finkelstein comments in the Times that this budget will not decide the outcome of the election (Times page 23)
Philip Inman comments in the Guardian that Coalition plans for tax cuts will not help those on low pay.
George Osborne: Mary Riddell argues in the Telegraph that Ed Ball’s lack of popularity when compared with the Chancellor has as much to do with Labour’s strategic weakness as his own inability to attack George Osborne.
TV Debates: David Cameron has agreed to appear in a single debate featuring seven party leaders on 2nd April whilst broadcasters say that discussions around other election programming are still ongoing. (The Scotsman page 5, The Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 2, The Times page 1, P&J page 14, Daily Mail page 10, The Guardianpage 4)
General Election: A new poll suggests that Scottish voters believe that the best way to prevent a Conservative government is to vote SNP in May. (The National page 5)
Green Party: The SNP have defended calls from Nicola Sturgeon for English voters to vote for the Green party, despite claims that its policies would seriously harm Scottish interests. (The Scotsman page 8)
Labour/SNP coalition: Allan Massie in The Scotsman argues that an alliance between Labour and the SNP may actually be good for the future of the Union. Chris Roycroft-Davis comments in the Daily Express, Jenny Hjul comments in The Courier (page 25), Daily Mail page 6)
Nicola Sturgeon: Nicola Sturgeon is set to hand back part of her salary in order to avoid becoming the UK’s highest paid politician. (The Herald page 1, Daily Record page 9, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 19, Daily Express page 1, The Courier page 14, Daily Mail page 1)
In-work poverty: Alison Johnstone in The Herald calls for people to consider how austerity has contributed to in-work poverty.
Scottish NHS: Joan McAlpine argues in the Daily Record that Labour’s record on the Scottish NHS is poor and that it is not the party to alleviate the service’s current difficulties.
Alex Salmond: New extracts from Alex Salmond’s memoir of the Referendum campaign show that he believes that there will be a second referendum. (The Sun page 12)
Negative Campaigning: Rafael Behr argues in the Guardian that negative campaigning by the Conservatives and Labour is harming the perception of politics.
Fracking: Ineos is preparing to launch a campaign promising cash for homeowners if fracking takes place on their land. (The Scotsman page 10, The Herald page 5, Daily Record page 6, FT page 4, The Sun page 2, The National page 2, Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 4, Daily Express page 4)
Green Costs: The Centre for Policy Studies has suggested in a new report that scrapping green energy targets in favour of gas power plants could save consumers £214 a year. (The Daily Telegraph page 10)
Health &Safety Errors: Roger Livermore, former Crown prosecutor, is leading a campaign for all Health Boards to be liable if preventable deaths occur on their premises. (Daily Record page 2)
A&E Waiting Times: The latest publication of A&E waiting times still shows the Scottish Government falling short on its target for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. (Daily Record page 2, P&J page 20)
Data privacy: Chris Marshall comments in the Scotsman on the use of data by the police.
Student Fees: Alex Massie comments in the Times that the SNP’s current position on tuition fees is hurting the worse off. (Times page 25)