Scottish news bulletin: 5th December 2008

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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

Interest rates: Yesterday the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee cut interest rates by 1 percentage point to 2% - their lowest level since 1951. However many banks are still not passing on the cuts to consumers. As a result the Chancellor told Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce last night that further action would be taken against lenders if they continued to refuse to pass the cuts on. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, page 4 and page 17, Record page 1, Sun page 1 and page 12, Mail page 1, Times page 1, Express page 1, Mirror page 8, Guardian page 1 and page 10, FT page 1 and Samuel Brittan, Courier page 1, P&J page 1, Telegraph page 1)

HM Revenue & Customs: About 400 Scottish jobs are to be lost as two-thirds of tax offices in Scotland are shut. (Scotsman page 5, Record page 10, Times page 9, Express page 4, Guardian page 35, FT page 4, Courier page 1, P&J page 9, Telegraph page 5)

HBOS: John Swinney has given the Scottish Government’s tacit support to a legal campaign to halt the HBOS takeover by Lloyds TSB. (Scotsman page 13)

Recession: Comment and analysis on the state of the economy. (Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Peter Jones in the Scotsman, Phillip Collins in The Times, Larry Elliot in the Guardian, Phillip Booth in The Telegraph)

Sterling: The pound yesterday fell to a record low against the euro and struggled against the dollar. (Herald Business page 1)

Crime

DNA: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that keeping DNA samples from people with no criminal convictions is an illegal invasion of privacy. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 7, Sun page 53, Mail page 14 and page 12, Times page 16, Express page 25, Mirror page 25, Guardian page 1, FT page 4, P&J page 8)

Community Service: Criminals on community service are being ferried to work for free in taxis as council staff refuse to drive offenders to the workplace. (Sun page 31)

Transport

Motorways: On the 50 th anniversary of motorways in Britain the motorway link between Glasgow and Southern England is to be finally completed. (Herald page 12)

Education

Universities: A report by Universities UK suggests that universities in England could become larger and better funded than those in Scotland due to increases in student numbers and research funding. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 1, P&J page 11, Telegraph page 1)

Health

Stroke Patients: Thousands of stoke patients are missing out on vital life saving treatment due to long waits making the treatments less effective when received. (Mail page 19, Courier page 6)

Politics

Damian Green: Further coverage of the Conservative MP’s arrest. Former Home Secretary John Reid has attacked Jacqui Smith for remaining too “placid” during the affair and said he was surprised she had not been told of the arrest in advance. Meanwhile Assistant police commissioner Bob Quick has challenged the Speaker, Michael Martins’ version of events (Scotsman page 16, Gerri Peev in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Record page19, Sun page 2, Mail page 20, Times page 34, Mirror page 15, Guardian page 18, FT page 4, P&J page 8, Telegraph page 10)

The Herald: MSPs, including the First Minister, have attacked a decision by the owners of The Herald to make all their staff redundant and force them to reapply for their old jobs, though around 40 jobs are expected to be lost. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 6, Times page 21)

Glasgow East: Margaret Curran MSP has vowed to regain the Glasgow east seat for Labour at the next general election. She lost the By-election to SNP John Mason. (Mail page 19)

LIT: MSPs backed Conservative calls for any new bill to allow consideration of a range of replacements for the council tax. This included Land Value tax as well as Local Income Tax with variable rates. (Herald page 6, Mail page 12, Express page 5, Courier page 6, P&J page 9)

Euro Unit: Allegedly the Government is spending tens of millions of pounds on a secret unit for use in preparations to join the euro. (Express page 2)

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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