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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 24 July 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

Bin Lorry Inquiry: There is continuing coverage of the probe into the Glasgow truck tragedy which heard that the driver had previously blacked out at the wheel. (Scotsmanpage1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, Express page 1, Mail page 1, Telegraph page 1 and 5, National page 2, Record page 8, Courier page 13.)

Plastic Bags: The 5p charge for single-use supermarket plastic bags has resulted in almost 130 million fewer being used in Scotland. (Scotsman page 1, Record page 2, Herald page 1 and 3, Times page 2, Telegraph page 5, Mail page 16.)

UK Labour Leadership:  Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall is reportedly resisting pressure to quit the race as a way of helping to stop Jeremy Corbyn from winning. Ken Livingstone and Diane Abbott have backed Mr Corbyn, with Abbott saying he is well placed to win back votes for Labour in Scotland.  John Prescott has defended Mr Corbyn from attacks by Tony Blair and his former advisor John McTernan. However, Mr Corbyn has also been attacked for inaction over child abuse in his constituency, and there are fears a Corbyn victory could create an SDP-style split. (Guardian page 1, FT page 2, Express page 2, Scotsman page 6, National page 6, Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12, Courier page 15, P&J page 16, Mail page 18.)

Euan McColm comments on the Labour leadership race in the Scotsman page 28 as does Alison Rowat in The Herald page 13, and Jeane Freeman in the National page 8, and Martin Kettle in the Guardian page 33.)

Scottish Labour: Ken Macintosh has stated that there is no front-runner in the Scottish Labour leadership contest between himself and former deputy leader Kezia Dugdale. (National page 6.)

Independence Referendum: An SNP MSP, Colin Keir, is reportedly circulating campaign literature saying a Nationalist victory at the Scottish Parliamentary elections will lead to a second independence referendum. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6, Mail page 10)

New Powers:  The Scottish Conservatives have challenged the SNP to use new tax and spend powers to make up for a £1 billion deficit in the Scottish block grant created by the measures taken by the UK Chancellor George Osborne. Meanwhile, further tax devolution could need to be redrafted because of George Osborne’s investigation into reforming income tax and national insurance. (Scotsman page 6, Times page 2.)

Kenny Farquharson in The Times page 25 comments on the need for the SNP to explain how it will use new welfare powers to address poverty.

Spying on MSPs: The axing of guidelines which previously prevented the security services from tapping MSPs’ phones and hacking their emails has led to suspicion that this is to allow GCHQ manipulation of the independence debate. (Record page 1.)

Scottish Income Tax: The UK Government has reportedly blocked a report into the transfer of income tax powers to Scotland as it raises areas of concern about the implementation. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 6.)

Social Democracy: Joyce McMillan in The Scotsman page 27 comments on the prospects for social democracy.

Economy

Undersea Coal-Gas Plan: Scottish Ministers have been accused of paying lip service to the moratorium on controversial new energy extraction techniques after a firm said it expected to get the go ahead to ignite coal reserves under the Firth of Forth. (Heraldpage 1.)

Wind Farms: Nicola Sturgeon has written to David Cameron asking him to relax his clampdown on onshore wind subsidies and accusing him of being ‘anti-business’.  This has led to accusations of ‘hypocrisy’ from Murdo Fraser of the Scottish Conservatives since the Scottish Government has imposed a moratorium on fracking and refused to build new power stations. (National page 14, Telegraph page 4.)

House Prices:  Research by PwC suggests that the average house price in Scotland could exceed £250,000 by the end of the decade. (Herald page 1.)

Commonwealth Games Legacy: Nicola Sturgeon has said that the Commonwealth Games can ‘buck the trend’ and be the first games to secure a long-term legacy.  A new report has shown that the games contributed more than £740 million gross to the country’s ecoomy, including £390 million for Glasgow’s economy. (Scotsman page 1 and 12, Herald page 6.)

Transport

CalMac Ferries:  Alastair Dalton on Page 28 of The Scotsman comments on how the private running of CalMac ferries could bring positive change.
Green Taxis:  The City of Dundee is trying to become the UK’s electric taxi capital and is aiming to win a share of £20 million development funding. (Scotsman page 1, Courier page 9.)