Scottish news bulletin: 29th January 2009

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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.

Economy

Recession: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the UK would suffer the worst slump of all the industrial nations, in the deepest recession ‘since WWII’. (Scotsman page 6 , Herald page 1,
page 6, page 32, Telegraph page 1, page 4, Guardian page 1, Times page 6, FT page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Mail page 8)

Scotland’s downturn: Scotland’s economy is now falling faster than the rest of the UK, according to figures published yesterday. Scotland’s GDP fell by 0.8% in the third quarter- compared to 0.6% for the UK as a whole. The figures do not mean that Scotland has yet moved into recession, but Finance Secretary John Swinney has reportedly admitted that this was now likely. (Press and Journal page 5, Daily Mail page 8)

Barnett Formula: Lord Barnett told a new investigation into his 30 year old formula for distributing government expenditure that it was dangerous and unfair. He pressed for a Lord’s investigation because of the disparity in funding between nations. (Scotsman page 15)

Lloyds Group: Lloyds Banking Group spearheaded a rebound in banking shares by 50% yesterday on an influential broker’s circular claiming fears of the bank’s potential nationalisation were overdone. (Scotsman page 30, Herald page 29, FT page 36)

Crime

Strathclyde Police: The chief constable of Scotland’s biggest police force will today outline plans to put nearly £5 million more into front-line policing by axing more than 130 senior officer posts. (Scotsman page 8, Michael Howie)

Health

NHS Buildings: A third of NHS buildings are in need of major upgrading- and in some areas almost half of the estate is in need of repair, an Audit Scotland report revealed yesterday. (Scotsman page 10)

Education

University courses: The depth of animosity felt by some university principals towards the Scottish Government over attempts to align what they teach more closely to the needs of the economy was exposed in a confidential email. Professor Andrew Hamnett, the principal of Strathclyde University criticised the government plans. (Herald page 9)

Politics

Budget: The SNP budget was voted down in Parliament yesterday by the Green Party due to a technical dispute over funding. Alex Salmond reportedly said that he would make one more attempt to get his budget passed but if this next attempt failed he would resign as First Minister and try to force an election. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Alan Cochrane, Times page 1, FT page 3, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mail page 1, Daily Express 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.

www.reformscotland.com

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