Scottish news bulletin: 20th November 2008


Data courtesy of Reform Scotland


Recession: Further comment on the economic slowdown.
Gordon Brown yesterday said that the government would make every effort to start banks lending again to small businesses (Scotsman page 8, George Kerevan in the Scotsman, Times page 58, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times).

Sir Tom McKillop, chairman of RBS, is expected to say to he is “profoundly sorry” about the crisis which has engulfed the bank at today’s shareholder meeting in Edinburgh.
Yesterday Lloyds TSB shareholders voted to back the bank’s takeover of HBOS. (Scotsman page 1, Erikka Askeland in the Scotsman, Mail page 2, Herald page 1, Express page 2, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 36, Courier page 1, Times page 11).

Housing market: Estate agents have said that the Scottish “offers over” price system will die of with the introduction of Home Reports next month (Scotsman page 6).

Interest rates: The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will weigh up the tax and spending plans in next week’s Pre-Budget Report before deciding how far and fast to cut interest rates. The minutes of its last meeting reveal that it considered a 2% cut (Scotsman page 28, Telegraph page 8, Guardian page 35, FT page 4, Times page 58).


Fatal accidents: Lord Cullen, who is leading a review of the fatal accident inquiries, will today launch a public consultation on the matter (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 9, P&J page 12)

Prostitution: Tanya Thompson in the Scotsman (page 20) argues that Jacqui Smith’s proposals for addressing prostitution in England should not be followed in Scotland.


Forth crossing: The new £120m Clackmannanshire Bridge crossing the Forth was opened yesterday by the First Minister (Scotsman page 6, Mail page 10, Herald page 9, P&J page 1).


Free school meals: The Education Committee at Holyrood yesterday voted to support the SNP’s policy of providing free school meals for all children aged 5 to 7 (Scotsman page 13, Mail page 6, Herald page 6, Express page 8, P&J page 12, Courier page 11).


Centenarians: Figures published yesterday showed that there are more people over 100 living in Scotland than ever before (Mail page 21, Herald page 3, Express page 3).

Elected health boards: The British Medical Association and the Royal College of nursing have told the Scottish Parliament Health Committee that they are against proposals for direct elections to health boards. Unison said it supported the plan (Herald page 6).

Superbugs: An Audit Scotland review has found wide variations in the time it takes hospitals to obtain MRSA test results, ranging from 18 hours to two days (Herald page 1).

Local Government

Local income tax: The chairman of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Norman Quirk, said that a local income tax would make Scotland less attractive to investors. (Mail page 10, Record page 2).

Aberdeenshire Council: Debra Storr, a member of the Liberal Democrat group on Aberdeenshire Council, has resigned, saying that she had been subject to a ‘witch hunt’ after voting against Donald Trump’s development plans (P&J page 12, Express page 32, Record page 37).


East Lothian Labour: Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray’s local association was suspended yesterday following a row surrounding attempts to deselect Anne Moffat MP (Scotsman page 10, Mail page 12, Herald page 6, Express page 32, Telegraph page 10, Courier page 3, Times page 9).

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

All data courtesy of Reform Scotland.

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.


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