Scottish news bulletin: 3rd February 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

Wildcat strikes: More than 1500 Scottish contract workers went on strike yesterday in protest against the use of foreign labour. Acas, the independent arbitration service, is due to report shortly about the contract deal which sparked the original strike at the Total refinery in Lindsey (Herald page 1, Courier page 10, P&J page 5, Guardian page 10, Record page 2, FT page 2).

Construction: Many constructions firms are being forced to make loss-making bids due to fierce competition for the small number of projects going out to tender this year (Scotsman page 29).

Axeon: The Dundee-based battery developer Axeon made a £3m operating loss last year (Scotsman page 30, Herald page 29).

Transport

Snow disruption: Many transport links were affected by the snow yesterday (Herald page 6, Scotsman page 10).

Health

Smoking ban: Grampian Health Board is expected to announce a zero-tolerance smoking policy which will mean that staff will be banned from smoking when wearing their NHS uniforms (Scotsman page 15, Courier page 3, Record page 10).

Politics

Scottish budget: The SNP has reportedly agreed a deal with the Lib Dems which will see the Scottish budget voted on and passed as early as tomorrow. The Finance Secretary has also held further talks with Labour and the Greens which may also lead them to support the budget bill (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 8, Times page 17, Courier page 3, P&J page 9, Record page 2). Hamish Macdonell argues that the defeat of the Budget last week showed minority government working as it should (Scotsman page 24).

Titian painting: The Scottish Government has been criticised after it emerged that it donated the final £12.5m to purchase Titian’s Diana and Acteon .
The painting will be displayed in London for eight months of the year until 2012 (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1, Times page 8).

Animal charities: A dispute has broken out between the SSPCA and the RSPCA because of the latter’s decision to advertise for donations in Scotland without stating that it only operates in England and Wales (Herald page 5, Times 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.

www.reformscotland.com

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