Scottish news bulletin: 11th 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.


General election & the economy: David Cameron has demanded a general election to prevent the government putting the British economy and the pound at risk with a £20bn “borrowing binge”. In response the Chancellor branded David Cameron “unbelievably complacent” (Herald page 2, Record page 2, Mail page 18, Times page 6, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, FT page 2, Chris Giles in the FT, Guardian page 15, Telegraph page 4, Courier page 10, Sun page 2, P&J page 5)

Housing market: The number of people looking for a new home increased for the first time in November according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Mortgage rates are also now at their lowest level for two years. (Scotsman page 6, Mail page 4, Express page 1, Guardian page 12, P&J page 5)

Job losses: Rolls-Royce is to axe 150 jobs in Scotland as part of world-wide job cuts, while Kettle Produce in Fife is to cut 100 jobs. (Scotsman page 6, Record page 2, Express page 5, Courier page 1, Sun page 6)

HBOS: Further coverage of the Merger Action Group’s case to the Competition Appeals Tribunal. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 30, Mail page 12, Times page 24, Express page 5, Telegraph page 15, Courier page 3, P&J page 5)

UK GDP & recession: New figures from the National Institute of Economic & Social Research (NIESR) show that UK GDP output fell by 1% in the three months ending in November. Andrew Sentence, a policy maker with the Bank of England, has said the recession was likely to be as long and as deep as the previous three major post-war down turns. (Scotsman page 33, Herald page 28, Times page 7, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian)

Water charges: Water charges are to rise by 3.7% next year. (Herald page 2, Mail page 9, Courier page 6, P&J page 12)

Business lending: Alistair Darling is considering an extension of taxpayer guarantees to cover business lending. (FT page 1, Guardian page 26)


Community orders: A third of community orders handed out by the courts to offenders were breached last year according to new figures published by the Scottish Government. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 4, Record page 10, Mail page 10, Express page 10, Telegraph page 10, Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph, Courier page 1, Sun page 1, P&J page 9)

Legal aid: Figures published by the Scottish Legal Aid Board have shown that Scotland’s legal aid bill has reached a record high, despite the number of cases dropping. (Herald page 9)


Maths & Science: An international study of attainment in maths and science has shown Scotland falling behind other countries in these two subject areas. Scotland scored below average for both primary 5 and secondary 2 pupils in maths and roughly average for both age groups in science. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1, Record page 4, Times page 12, Express page 2, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 9, Sun page 2, P&J page 1)

School dinners: Andrew Denholm in the Herald (page 11) comments on council’s attempts to get children to eat healthier school dinners.


Act of Settlement: The Scottish Secretary has said that Jack Straw is “working hard” on plans to change the Act of Settlement. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 1 and page 6)

Lib Dems: Ross Lydall in the Scotsman (page 24) comments on Nick Clegg’s anniversary as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Scottish Futures Trust: Labour MSP Andy Kerr in the Scotsman (page 25) criticises the Scottish Futures Trust, the SNP’s proposal for financing major construction projects.

Freedom of information: Scotland’s Freedom of Information Commissioner has said that research of public opinion shows that freedom of information laws should be extended to cover private firms who carry out work on behalf of the public sector. (Herald page 6, Telegraph page 12)

Welfare reform: Further coverage of proposed welfare reforms. (Herald page 6, Mail page 31, David Freud in the Times, FT page 4, Telegraph 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.


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