Scottish news bulletin: 23rd 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.
Recession: The United Kingdom is officially in a state of recession today, after figures showed that the economy contracted by 1.5% in the final three months of last year. Britain is in the grip of its sharpest recession for three decades, sending sterling tumbling to a 23-year low against the dollar. (Times page 3, FT page 1, Telegraph page B1, Daily Express page 1)
Edinburgh: The capital's dependence on the financial sector is analysed in the Financial Times. ( page 2)
Property value: Home builders are slashing hundreds of thousands of pounds off the cost of new properties and launching an unprecedented range of incentives as sales continue to fall. (Scotsman
Economic Crisis: Bill Jamieson comments in the Scotsman on the UK Government's response to the recession and banking crisis. (Scotsman page 24)
Euro zone: Alf Young comments in the Herald on sterling and the case for the United Kingdom to join the euro. (Herald page 19)
British Gas: British Gas bowed to political and consumer pressure yesterday and announced that it was to cut its gas bills by 10 percent from next month, after a rapid fall in wholesale gas prices. (FT page 4, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1)
Wave Power: A major milestone in Scottish wave power development was passed yesterday when one of the world’s largest wave electricity generating stations was given the go-ahead off the Western Isles. It will create up to 70 jobs and is one of the first marine renewable energy projects to be approved in the UK and follows the recent launch of the £10m Saltire Prize to encourage marine energy development. (Press and Journal page 6)
Knife Crime: Scottish Government plans to curb the use of short-term jail sentences will allow hundreds of knife wielding criminals to roam the streets unhindered, the Labour Party reportedly warned yesterday. The clash over knife crime took place during First Minister’s Questions, ahead of a knife-crime summit in the Scottish Parliament today. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was criticised for not being present for the summit today.(Scotsman page 10, Times page 3, Courier page 9, Daily Telegraph page 10, Daily Express page 1, Sun page 1)
Prestwick Airport: Prestwick airport managers have begun a review that could lead to job cuts and partial closure after losses were reported two months in a row. (Times page 16)
Children's Health: Children’s health in Scotland has not improved significantly over the past decade because government policy is failing to produce the results it promises, a Church of Scotland group has warned. At present Scotland is falling well below international standards. (Times page 18)
Public Spending: The leadership of Scotland’s local authorities have admitted they are unable to function properly because of mixed messages on education spending. A meeting was held at CoSLA earlier this week to discuss issues such as reductions in P1-13 class sizes to 18 and free school meals for infants. (TESS page 1)
MSP Expenses: MSPs claimed more than £10m worth of expenses last year, latest figures revealed yesterday. The individual expense claims of all the MSPs for 2007-08 as published by the Scottish Parliament came to a total of £10,250,471. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 9, page 12, Daily Express page 19, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Record page 1)
Homecoming: The Scottish Government’s Homecoming campaign has started this weekend, with thousands of tickets bought by people around the world and several launch events taking place tomorrow and Sunday sold out. (Herald page 1, 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.