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Reform Scotland Media Summary 25 March 2015

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 25 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
Alex Salmond: Alex Salmond has claimed that the SNP would vote to bring down any minority Conservative government with the latest polls suggesting that SNP is likely to see a large increase in its representation at Westminster. (The Scotsman page 1, The Heraldpage 1, The National page 2, The Sun page 2, Daily Record page 9, The Daily Telegraphpage 1, Daily Express page 2, The Courier page 13, The Guardian page 1, Daily Mailpage 1)

Jenny Hjul comments in The Courier that Unionists will need to be united in order to see off the threat of the Nationalist ‘juggernaut’. (page 29)

Jonathan Brocklebank in the Daily Mail writes that Alex Salmond is seeking to antagonise and exploit divisions between England and Scotland in his claims that he would depose a Tory government. (page 14)

Scottish Jobs Guarantee: Jim Murphy will today unveil plans for a new £1 billion package which will aim at ending youth unemployment as well as providing support for those in education. He has also announced that £175 million saved by scrapping the bedroom tax would go towards ending the need for food banks. (The Scotsman page 4, The Herald page 6, Daily Record page 8, The Courier page 3, P&J page 11)

Jim Murphy: Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman comments that in the event of Labour talks with the SNP after the election, it is unlikely that Jim Murphy would have any major role.

Scottish Labour: A new YouGov poll for The Times shows that voters in Scotland believe that Scottish Labour has fallen out of touch with ordinary voters. (The Times page 1)

General Election 2015: Allan Massie argues in The Scotsman that Scottish Liberal Democrats and Conservatives should work together to prevent the SNP gaining more traction in Scotland, including avoiding running against each other in certain seats.

Mary Riddell argues in the Daily Telegraph that if Ed Miliband is to become Prime Minister he needs to succeed in showing that he can unite the United Kingdom.

David Cameron: The Prime Minister has defended remarks that he would not serve a third term at Downing Street saying that they were ‘reasonable’. (The Herald page 6, The National page 2, The Guardian page 11, Daily Mail page 8)

Ian Bell comments in the Herald that David Cameron’s first real gaffe as Prime Minister shows that he takes the electorate for granted.

James Kirkup comments in the Daily Telegraph that a future Conservative leader would likely come from outside the three potential candidates highlighted by David Cameron.

Daniel Finkelstein comments in The Times that every Prime Minister should be limited to two terms in power. (page 33)

Chris Roycroft Davis writes in support of David Cameron’s comments in the Daily Express saying that it is unfair to criticise him for his honesty.

Rafael Behr comments in The Guardian that the Prime Minister’s exit talk will haunt him, even if he wins in May.

Welfare Cuts: Polly Toynbee comments in the Guardian that Labour needs to come out more strongly in favour of the underdog and announce that there will be no more cuts to benefits.

Nicola Sturgeon: A new poll across the entirety of the UK has shown Nicola Sturgeon to have a higher approval rating than any of the other major political leaders. (The Sun page 6

Longannet Power Station: The closure of Longannet power station has began a war of words between the SNP and the Conservatives over who is to blame. (Daily Record page 10, The National page 2, The Times page 17, The Courier page 19)

Joan McAlpine comments in the Daily Record that the charges that led to the closure of Longannet show that it would pay for Scots to have the power to regulate its own energy Sector.

TV Debates: Ukip MEP David Coburn is to take part in TV debates on BBC Scotland, despite linking an SNP minister to a convicted terrorist. (Daily Express page 7)

Economy
Inequality: A new study of Wealth and Assets in Scotland suggests that the richest 10% in Scotland owns almost half the country’s wealth. (The Scotsman page 2, The Heraldpage 1, The Sun page 6, The Times page 13, The Courier page 25)

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, argues in the Herald that devolving all of Social Security to Holyrood would allow the Scottish Government more scope to tackle inequality in Scotland.

Zero Inflation: The Consumer Prices index has dropped to zero marking the first period of zero inflation in the UK for fifty-five years. (The Scotsman page 8, Financial Times page 1, Daily Mail page 12)

Health
Waiting Times: The most recent set of figures for waiting times in Scottish A&E departments show continued improvement with 92.2% of patients being seen within four hours. (The Herald page 8, The Sun page 2, Daily Mail page 32)

Education
Foreign Students Driven Away: Education Minister Alasdair Allan has warned MSPs that the negative approach to immigration by the UK government is forcing top foreign students in Scotland to leave after the completion of their studies. (The Scotsman page 13)

Attainment Gap: Education Secretary Angela Constance has announced that the Education (Scotland) Bill will include a clause requiring Scottish local authorities to close the attainment gap between rich and poor children. (The National page 9, Daily Telegraphpage 13, The Times page 13)