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Reform Scotland Media Summary 3 March 2015

Reform Scotland

Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 03 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
First time buyer scheme: Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a £70 million fund to help families on low and moderate incomes in Scotland to buy their first homes. Under the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme (OMSE) families would be eligible for interest free loans (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 5, Times page 2)

Super ID Database: The UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has called for suitable safeguards to be put in place following the unveiling of SNP plans to create a Super ID Database that could lead to the creation of a national identity number for every Scot (Herald page 1, Telegraph page 10, Daily Mail page 1).

Tuition fees: Jim Murphy has vowed to keep Scotland free of tuition fees if the party wins next year’s Holyrood election (Scotsman page 6, Courier page 15). However, Mr Murphy has been accused of hypocrisy by his critics, having previously voted in favour of tuition fees at Westminster (Times page 1)

Tactical voting: Unionists have been urged to vote tactically by a new campaign group, Forward Together, to mitigate the chances of SNP success at the polls in the coming General Election (Telegraph page 1)

Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph comments on the tactical voting campaigns that are being launched all over Scotland, in response to fears of SNP success at the polls (Telegraph page 14)

Jenny Hjul in the Herald discusses the Scotland in Union campaign set to launch this week, commenting that tactical voting may be the only way of uniting against the SNP(page 11)

Labour/Tory Coalition: Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, has warned the Labour leadership not to rule out a grand coalition with the Tories, joining a small number of politicians who have voiced their preferences to join the Tories over the SNP (The National page 2)

David Cameron:
The Prime Minister has warned that a Labour/SNP alliance would be the worst possible outcome at the general election, claiming that a Labour government would add £1,000 to the average mortgage (Herald page 6, Daily Mail page 2)

Ed Miliband: Labour leader Ed Miliband has branded the Conservative’s immigration policy, chaotic, after it was revealed that migration figures for the UK had reached over 300,000 (Herald page 6)

North Sea: Peter Jones in the Scotsman comments on the prospects of the North Sea Industry saying investment is desperately needed to secure another 40 years of offshore activity (page 23)

Benefits criticism: The Church of Scotland has heavily criticised the Department for Work and Pensions in a report released today over new powers that permit them to cut or remove welfare as they see fit, if claimants are not perceived to be doing enough to find work (The Sun page 2, Press & Journal page 16)

Union Flag: Ian Macwhirter analyses the ‘badging’ of the Union Flag on infrastructure projects across Scotland in the Herald today, claiming that such a move makes clear that the UK is no longer perceived to be a unified political and economic space by Whitehall (page 11)

Economy
Equality for Scots: Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to put equality and fairness at the heart of the SNP’s plans to stimulate growth in Scotland, as she sets out the Scottish Government’s economic strategy later today, in light of recent reports that found that increased inequality has reduced the UK’s growth potential by 9% (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 2)

Gordon Brown: The former prime minister has unveiled detailed proposals to rebuild the Scottish economy on new technology, finance and maximising production on remaining North Sea oil reserves, and additionally calling for increases in house building to boost construction (Herald page 2, Times page 11, Press & Journal page 12)

Justice
Early Release: It has been reported that warnings have been issued by a number of legal experts over the Scottish Government’s plans to end the automatic early release of prisoners that critics feel would open the door to an avalanche of legal challenges from convicts (Herald page 1)

Transport
Virgin- East Coast franchise: The Managing Director of Virgin Trains East Coast has promised extra services between Edinburgh and London (Scotsman page 3)