Scottish news bulletin: 19th 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.


Mortgages: Half a million to fall behind on their mortgages in 2009, lenders have warned. Repossessions may return to 1990s levels. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 1, Guardian page 37, Daily Mail page 1)

Stirling: Record deficit drives the pound to Euro 1.05 on alarm over public finances. Comments from the Bank of England deputy governor lend speed to the pound’s fall. The Euro’s strength is analysed by Peter Jones in the Scotsman. (Scotsman page 31, Herald page 34, Guardian page 37, Courier page 6, FT page 1)

Taxpayers to fund bank loans: Firms requesting a bank loan will be able apply for match funding from the Government to help them through the recession – a move which will see the government effectively acting as a bank. (Telegraph page 1, Martin Vander Weyerin the Telegraph, FT page 2)

Interest rates: Zero interest rates may be too high a price to pay, as people with savings will lose out as the government attempts to stimulate the economy. (Herald page 5, Daily Express page 1)

Car Industry: The automobile industry pleads for aid as UK production crashes by 33%. (Herald page 4)


Ferry service: Scotland’s only ferry link to Europe will return in May when Danish ferry operator Norfolkline will begin sailings between Rosyth and Zeebrugge. (Courier page 9, P&J page 9)


NHS: Scotland’s 24- hour health helpline has seen a surge in callers with flu symptoms, with demand for the service up a third compared to last year. (Scotsman page 12)

Drink Drive Limit: A cut in the drink-drive limit could be a ‘life saving measure’. Scottish Ministers want a reduction from the current 80mg limit per 100ml of blood to 50mg. The Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson spoke of how he helped in the aftermath of a two horror accidents, both caused by drink-drivers. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 6, Daily Express page 37, Daily Record page 2, Courier page 11, Telegraph page 9)

Smokers: The number of young adults smoking in Scotland has rocketed in the last three years. (The Sun page 16, Daily Express page 17, P&J page 7)


Discipline & teacher guilty of assault: Mike Barile, a teacher at Lawside Academy faces ruin after being convicted of assaulting two students who were behind a prolonged campaign of abuse against him. Scotsman page 1, further analysis by Ronnie Smith. (The Sun page 13, Daily Express page 9, Times page 9, Courier page 1, Telegraph page 6, P&J page 6)

ASN Pupils: Councils are neglecting additional support needs (ASN) children, with only one in fifteen in a co-ordinated support plan. (TESS page 1)


David Cameron: Alf Young in the Herald makes comment on the financial crisis and the role of David Cameron. (Herald page 15)

Labour criticism of futures trust: Labour leader Iain Gray attacked the Scottish Governments Scottish Futures Trust, calling it ‘dead in the water’. (Herald page 6, Courier page 3)

Brown Vs Rowan Williams: The Head of the Church of England, Rowan Williams, accused Gordon Brown of acting like a junkie hooked on spending billions to get Britain out of recession. (The Sun page 2, Times page 5, P&J 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.


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