Scottish news bulletin: 21st January 2009


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.


Banking enquiry: Labour and the Liberal Democrats support a proposal that would see the former bosses of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) called to the Scottish Parliament as part of an enquiry into the banking crisis. Sir Fred Goodwin, formally of RBS, and Andrew Hornby, the former HBOS chief, would be required to explain their role in the crisis. (The Scotsman page 8 and page 22, The Scotsman B1, The Times page 14, The Herald page 9, The Daily Mail page 20, Daily Record page 10, The Sun page 11, Telegraph page 15)

RBS and Lloyds TSB Nationalisation: Alastair Darling faces demands from senior figures to nationalise RBS and the newly merged Lloyds group as market confidence in the banking sector continues to worsen.
RBS shares continue to fall and the Lloyds Banking group’s fell by nearly a third yesterday. (FT page 6, Guardian page 17, Telegraph page B1)

Sterling: Yesterday saw the pound slump to a seven and a half year low as it came down 3.5% against the dollar. (The Scotsman page 8, The Times page 2, The Times page 14, The Daily Mail page 16, FT page 17, Guardian page 6, Telegraph page B1,)

Retail slump: High street shops are suffering from their worst monthly sales fall in a decade and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) claimed that only large sales which reduced profit margins and a steady trade in Christmas food and drink prevented the crisis from worsening. (Daily express page 17, The Sun page 11)

Scottish notes: Shadow Scots Secretary, David Mundell, will publish a Bill in the Commons to ensure that some English shops and businesses can no longer refuse to accept Scottish notes. (Daily Record page 12)

Unemployment figures: Unemployment figures released today are expected to show that more than 2million people across the UK are now out of work with over 1million of those claiming Job-seeker’s allowance. Ernst and Young Item Club, a forecasting group, has also predicted that these figures will rise to 3.4million by 2011.
(Daily Express page 33)

Job losses: 150 jobs in Glasgow will be lost after the food firm Vion who supply Marks and Spencer announced that they are making 820 job cuts throughout the UK. (The Sun page 11)

Royal Mail: The Office of Fair Trade was urged last night to reconsider how private mail companies refund Royal Mail for delivering to people’s homes. (Press and Journal page 15)


'Double jeopardy' rule: A rule in Scots law that prevents an acquitted person from being re-tried, even if new evidence comes to light, will be reviewed. The Scottish Law Commission is to publish a discussion paper on whether the ‘double jeopardy’ rule should be scrapped or amended. (The Scotsman page 9, The Herald page 12, Daily Express page 26, Press and Journal page 14)

Hate crime proposal: Raymond McMenamin of the Law Society told MSPs yesterday that a proposal to extend the legislation around hate crime to cover crimes against gay and disabled people was unnecessary as existing legislation already encompassed these groups. (The Herald page 8, The Daily Mail page 17, Daily Express page 26)

Local Government

Edinburgh developments: Edinburgh Council have been accused of approving ‘sub-standard’ building developments by the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) in a rush to secure economic development. The results of developments such as Haymarket and Caltongate have already triggered a UNESCO investigation into the city’s world heritage status. (The Scotsman page 16)


Extra children's specialists pledge: Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, yesterday pledged extra specialist staff for the care of children and assured the public that existing specialist services for children and young people would also be maintained. (The Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 10)


Glasgow school cuts: Glasgow City Council announced plans to close 25 nursery and primary schools in order to make savings of £3.7m per year. The council have assured almost 100 teaching staff under threat that compulsory redundancies would not be made, but rather some staff cuts would come via voluntary severance or early retirement schemes. (The Herald page 8)


US President: Barack Obama was yesterday sworn in as the 44 th President of the United States at his inauguration in Washington DC. (The Scotsman page 1, Ross Lydall in The Scotsman, Ella Hickson in The Scotsman, The Times page 1, Gerard Baker in The Times, The Times page 4 and page 5, The Herald page 1, page 2, page 3, Alf Young in The Herald, The Daily Mail page 1, page 2, page 3, Daily Record page 1-5, Daily Express page 1-11, Daily Mirror pages 1-9, FT page 1, Guardian page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Telegraph page 1)

Scottish Budget Bill: MSPs on Holyrood’s Finance Committee yesterday approved the second stage of the £33bn budget. The process will continue on January 28 when the next major debate will take place in parliament. (The Herald page 8, Press and Journal page 9)

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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