Scottish news bulletin: 25th November 2008


Data courtesy of Reform Scotland


Pre-budget report: Yesterday the Chancellor outlined his pre-budget report to the House of Commons. Measures included a 2.5% cut in VAT for 13 months; new tax rate of 4.5% for people earning more than £150,000 from 2011; a National Insurance increase for employees and employers by 0.5% from 2011; and duty increases on alcohol, tobacco and fuel.

Alistair Darling also announced that the UK’s public sector debt would reach the highest level ever recorded, reaching £1trillion by 2012/13, while the recession would likely last for four consecutive quarters and contract by up to 1.25%. (Scotsman page 1, Ross Lydall in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Gerri Peev in the Scotsman, Rhona Irving in the Scotsman, Sun page 1, Herald page 1, Alf Young in the Herald, Torcuil Crichton in the Herald, Colette Douglas Home in the Herald, Guardian page 1, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Will Hutton in the Guardian, Courier page 1, Mirror page 1, Express page 1, Stephen Kahn in the Express, Macer Hall in the Express, Telegraph page 1, Edmund Conway in the Telegraph, Andrew Porter in the Telegraph, Boris Johnson in the Telegraph, Tracy Corrigan in the Telegraph, FT page 1, Chris Giles in the FT, George Parker in the FT, Martin Wolf in the FT, Philip Stephens in the FT, Jonathan Guthrie in the FT, Times page 1, David Wighton in the Times, Angus Macleod in the Times, David Aaronovitch in the Times, Rachel Sylvester in the Times, Roy Hattersley & Andrew Haldenby in the Times, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Mail page 1, Edward Heathcoat Amory in the Mail, Alex Brummer in the Mail, Dominic Sandbrook in the Mail, Max Hastings in the Mail, Record page 1, P&J)

Home reports: Hamish Macdonnell in the Scotsman (page 24) argues that now is not the right time to introduce home reports into the Scottish housing market.


Prison service: Alex Spencer, former governor at Peterhead and Edinburgh prisons, has called for the Scottish Prison Service to be split up with local authorities assuming more responsibility for prisoners serving shorter sentences. (Herald page 12, Courier page 3, Times page 9, P&J)


Deaths on roads: The number of deaths on Scottish roads fell to 281 last year, the lowest level since records began. (Herald page 9, Mail page 34)


Migraines: GPs are being urged to improve their diagnosis of headaches by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network following concerns that around 50% of patients approaching GPs with migraines have their symptoms misinterpreted. (Herald page 3)

Drug related deaths: Dumbarton, Clydebank, areas of Argyll & Bute and parts of East Dunbartonshire top a UK-wide league table of drug related deaths according to research carried out by the University of London. (Mail page 36)

Local Government

Local income tax: Yesterday the Scottish Government published the responses to their consultation on replacing the council tax with a local income tax. The plans have been criticised by a number of organisations from business leaders to trade unions and lobby organisations. (Scotsman page 12, Burning Issue in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Herald page 8, Courier page 3, Express page 10, Telegraph page 2, Times page 11, Mail page 19, Record page 2, P&J)


Questioning Lord Mandelson: House of Commons rules may be changed to allow Lord Mandelson to appear before MPs in the House to answer parliamentary questions. (Courier page 9)

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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