Scottish news bulletin: 27th November 2008

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Data courtesy of Reform Scotland

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Woolworths & MFI: Further coverage of the economic slowdown as Woolworths and MFI call in administrators (Scotsman page 3, Sun page 15, Herald page 1, Record page 2, Times page 11, Mail page 6, Mirror page 1, P&J page 1, FT page 1, Telegraph page 1, Guardian
page 8).

Household spending: UK household spending has fallen for two consecutive quarters this year, the first time this has happened since 1991-92 (Herald page 32).

Pre-budget report: Continued comment and analysis on the pre-budget report as the Conservatives accuse Labour of considering raising VAT to 20%. (Scotsman page 9, Sun page 2, Alf Young in the Herald, Herald page 6, Anatole Kaletsky in the Times, Express page 5, FT page 2, Telegraph page 4).

Whisky tax: The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has reversed a 29p tax rise on each bottle of whisky after complaints from distillers (P&J page 5, Courier page 10, Guardian page 8, Telegraph page 4, Mail page 2, Express page 2).

Mortgages: The number of mortgages issued in Scotland fell by 18% between July and September (Scotsman page 17, P&J page 10).

Home reports: John Curran, Head of Housebuilding at McGrigors, criticises the introduction of Home Reports in the Scotsman (page 28).

Crime

Alcohol related crime: Labour in Scotland is calling for the introduction of alcohol treatment and testing orders to try and help break the link between alcohol consumption and crime (Scotsman page 10).

Education

Baccalaureate: The Scottish Government has announced that from next year school pupils will be able to sit baccalaureate exams in science and languages (Scotsman page 17, Burning issue in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 8).

Nursery education: Fiona Macleod in the Scotsman (page 7) reports on a popular nursery in Fife where the children play outdoors all day, regardless of the weather.

Local Government

Local income tax: A group of senior businessmen will meet John Swinney today to warn him that the introduction of a local income tax in Scotland would be disastrous for the country during the recession (Scotsman page 8, Peter MacMahon in the Scotsman).

Glasgow City Council: Glasgow City Council is expected to cut nearly 400 jobs and implement a series of measures in order to save £53m between 2009 and 2011 (Herald page 1).

Politics

Referendum: Coverage of SNP member and media commentator Rob Brown’s article in the New Statesman calling on the Scottish Government to abandon its plans for a referendum on independence because of the economic crisis (Scotsman page 8).

Early election: George Kerevan in the Scotsman (page 24) comments on the likelihood of a general election in June 2009.

Scottish budget: The Finance Secretary John Swinney told MSPs yesterday that he would have to deal with a “crude cut” in Scotland’s block grant from 2010 as a result of the Pre-Budget Report (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 5, Courier page 1).

Creative Scotland: There has been criticism of the amount of money that the transition team planning the new arts body Creative Scotland has spent on outside consultants (Herald page 3).

Children in care: The number of children in care in Scotland has risen to a 25-year high (Record page 2, Express page 11, Sun page 21, Mail page 42, P&J page 12).

Public sector pensions: David Cameron has hinted that an incoming Conservative government could start to phase out public sector final-salary pension schemes (FT page 1).

Scottish Water: There will be a 24-hour strike over pay today by employees of Scottish Water. More than 1000 members of Unison, Unite and GMB are due to walk out at noon (P&J page 15, Sun page 2).

Labour party funding: The trade union Unite reportedly saved the Labour Party from bankruptcy over the summer by guaranteeing its future finances (Times page 5).

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.

www.reformscotland.com

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