Scottish news bulletin: 1st December 2008

  • Reform Scotland
  • 1 December 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

Data courtesy of Reform Scotland

Economy

Home reports: Anyone selling their home in Scotland from today will have to provide a home report, including a survey, costing between £350 and £820.

Lawyers have warned that their introduction could depress the already fragile Scottish housing market further. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 4, Daily Mail page 10, FT page 4, Telegraph page 5, P&J page 9,
Scotland on Sunday page 7)

HBOS: The Merger Action Group, made up of businessmen, customers and shareholders against the takeover of HBOS, are seeking a legal ruling against Business Secretary Lord Mandelson’s decision to set aside the concerns of the OFT. (Scotsman page 5, Sun page 2, Herald page 30, Times page 9, Daily Express page 8, P&J page 1, Courier page 7, Sunday Herald page 10, Sunday Post page 5, Scotland on Sunday page 11)

Recession: Further comment on the economic slowdown and the government’s response. (Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman, Jeremy Peat in the Herald,
Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald, David Smith in the Ecosse: Sunday Times, Ros Altmann in the Sunday Post, Peter Jones in the Scotland on Sunday, Gerald Warnerin the Scotland on Sunday)

Jobs: Almost half of the Scottish work force is considering changing their career in the wake of the credit crunch; this is up from the average figure of 45%. (Herald page 2)

Sales Slump: Huge high street discounts have failed to draw in customers across the UK with Scotland being the worst hit. Scotland had 0.9% fewer people through shops doors in November 2008 than there was in November of last year. (Daily Express page 11)

Repossessions: Borrowers who are failing to keep up with their mortgage payments will be given six months of breathing space with RBS from when they first have a problem. Other banks are currently under pressure from the government to accept a 3 month moratorium. (Times page 5, FT page 1)

Fuel Tax: The 2p rise in fuel duty will not be cancelled out by last week’s VAT cut, the treasury is set to make £1.4 million pounds in a week by this increase described as a stealth tax. (Daily Express page 1)

Public Sector Employment: Under Labour’s public spending plans a wave of boroughs have been created where around half the population depends on the state for work. (Daily Mail page 10,
Sunday Times page 7)

Education

Council concordat: The Burning Issue in the Scotsman (page 19) between Rhona Brankin of Labour and Maureen Watt from the SNP asks whether the council concordat is threatening Scottish education.

Colleges: Scottish Ministers have asked Peter Mandelson to give legal protection to the term ‘college’.
No private education provider can call themselves a university as it is protected by law but they are permitted to use the term college. This move is an attempt to crack down on the bogus colleges that have been discovered all over the UK. (Herald page 5,)

University funding: Queen Margaret University has been considering merging with Napier University as a way of dealing with the current financial problems facing higher education. (Sunday Herald page 8)

Health

GP surgeries: Doctors’ surgeries will close for eight days over Christmas because NHS bosses thought negotiating with GPs to open longer would lead to unnecessary confusion. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 10)

Superflu: Cases of a superful resistant to the most commonly used anit-viral treatment have been found in Scotland, symptoms are said to be no worse than that of the normal flu virus however there are fewer effective treatment options. (Herald page 1)

Motherhood gap: Wealthy women give birth to their first children 13 years later than their poorer counterparts. First time mothers in more deprived areas were aged only 9 in an official survey while women living in more wealthy areas were 32 at the time of their first child. (Daily Mail page 9)

Superbugs: New software has been developed to aid in monitoring infection rates on a bed-by-bed basis in an effort to reduce the number of hospital acquired illnesses. (P&J page 6)

Local Government

Scottish Council Tax: The SNPs council tax plan to replace council tax with a local income tax is in disarray after being backed by only 2 of Scotland’s 32 councils. (Daily Mail page 4, Daily Express page 2)

Politics

Damian Green: Further comment surrounding the arrest of Damian Green. Harriet Harman, Leader of the House, has said she was concerned about the arrest and the way police had raided the Tory MP’s parliamentary and constituency base. Police accused Green of ‘grooming’ Chris Galley the suspected mole in the Home office and that he induced the home official to leak documents. Pressure is mounting on Michael Martin the Commons speaker to review the process by which authorization is given to search Westminster Palace. The man who is tipped to become the new Met commissioner was re-considering whether he should apply for the job, after Mr. Green’s catastrophic arrest. (Scotsman page 10, Sun page 2, Herald page 6 and page 1, Jackie Ashley in the Guardian, Guardian page 15 and page 1, Daily Record page 12, Norman Baxter and page 1 in Daily Mail, William Rees-Mogg
and page 1 in the Times, Daily Mirror page 4, Daily Express page 12 and page 9, FT page 2, Janet Daley and Denis MacShane in the Telegraph, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 8, Courier page 13,
Sunday Herald page 14, Sunday Times page 1, Shami Chakrabarti in the Sunday Times, Sunday Post page 3, Scotland on Sunday page 1)

Nick Clegg: The leader of the Liberal Democrats was overheard on a plane to Scotland calling his most senior colleagues “useless”. Mr Clegg has denounced it as fiction. (Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Benedict Brogan in the Daily Mail, Times page 18, Daily Mirror page 20)

Calman Commission: Speculation that the first report from the Calman review into Scottish devolution due out on Tuesday will not present any recommendations. Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet, one of 11 economic experts who advised the commission, has accused the group of tampering with evidence to suit the Labour party. (Sunday Times page 1, Sunday Post page 15, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Kenny Farquharsonin the Scotland on Sunday,
Herald page 6,
Sunday Times page 2)

Gray Party Feud: A probe in to the running of the Labour party in the Scottish constituency of East Lothian that of Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray will be held by senior officials after a long feud between local members and MP Anne Moffat. (Daily Record page 2)

New Labour:
Comment on New Labour. (Anthony Giddens in the Guardian)

New Legislation Priorities: Gordon Brown is rumoured to be cutting any legislation which could be cumbersome to businesses from early drafts of the Governments legislation programme. (FT page 2)

Ed Balls: The Electoral Commission is to investigate whether Ed Balls worked for Gordon Brown while on the payroll of a charity before becoming an MP. (Sunday Times page 1)

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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