Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 29 June 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.



Tunisia: Four Scots are feared dead after the Tunisian beach massacre last Friday (The Scotsman page 1, The Herald page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Times page 7, The National page 2, Daily Express pages 6-7, Daily Record pages 1-2).


Scotland Bill: Scottish Secretary David Mundell said MPs face a “deal or no deal” decision on whether to back or not the SNP’s plan. Mr Mundell said the SNP’s demand for full fiscal autonomy would damage necessary services such as schools and policing (The Scotsman page 8, The Herald page 8, The Daily Telegraph page 8, The Times page 4, The National pages 4-5, Daily Record page 12, Sun page 1, Daily Record page 6).


Independence: The SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson suggested that if David Cameron fails to deliver greater devolution, a second referendum for independence could take place within five years. Andrew Nicoll in The Sun reflects on Scotland nine months after the referendum (The Scotsman page 8, Andrew Nicoll in the Sun).


Scottish Labour: Kezia Dugdale has been endorsed by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) as well as Unison in her campaign to take over from Jim Murphy. David Torrance comments on the lack of experience of the contestants for the Scottish Labour leadership (The Scotsman page 13, David Torrance in The Herald).


Wind farm subsidies: A summit arranged by Holyrood ministers will take place next month after the UK Government announced cuts to subsidies for onshore wind farms (The Herald page 8).


Online abuse: Scottish Labour has compiled a file condemning SNP members for online misconduct towards their political opponents (The Sunday Times page 8, Pat Kane in the Scotsman).



UK Treasury: The Holyrood finance committee has asked for a “cultural change” within the UK Treasury, including an update of the fiscal framework, for the devolution plan to be effective (The Scotsman page 8, The National page 4-5, Daily Record page 6).


Unclaimed estates: £3 million worth of houses and estates are going unclaimed in Scotland due to the lack of a will (The Scotsman page 2).



Abortion policy: The all-party pro-Life group are to propose an amendment to the Scotland Bill to give Holyrood power over abortion policy in Scotland (The Scotsman page 12).


Age of liability: A Liberal Democrat MSP has put forward amendments to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill to raise the age at which children can be held responsible for crimes from 8 to 12, following the guidelines of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (The Herald page 8).


Police Scotland: Amidst a climate of budget austerity, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson has queried the fleet of luxury cars for senior officers and staff. Meanwhile, Labour MP Ian Murray has proposed a motion to scrap the VAT paid by Scottish emergency services each year (The Herald page 12, The Sun page 10).



Pilot project: Govan Health Centre is to implement a joint approach to identify the most vulnerable patients in an attempt to reduce the number of hospital admissions across Scotland (The Herald page 9).



Higher education: Children from low-income families are to be given priority for university places across Scotland.  This would modify the existing admission policies, based on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), to include a greater number of students from non-privileged backgrounds (The Scotsman page 15).


Early learners: A new report by a coalition of charities is calling on the Scottish Government to invest in early-learners’ language skills and literacy (The Scotsman page 15, The Herald page 13, The Times page 4).


Local government

West Dunbartonshire: The Council’s move to introduce a new secondary school structure by cutting staff is opposed by teachers (The Herald page 5).

Council tax: Co-chairmen of The Commission on Local Tax Reform Marco Biagi and David O’Neill suggest John Major’s council tax is outdated and unfair (Marco Biagi and David O’Neill in The Herald).