Scottish news bulletin: 5th February 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.


£250m for Small Businesses: The Royal Bank of Scotland said yesterday that half of the £6bn released when the UK Government upped its stake in the company earlier last month will be used to fund small business loans in Scotland, but it is not relaxing its lending criteria. (Herald page 30, Telegraph page 4)

Global Economy: George Kerevan comments on the current financial crisis and its relationship with globalisation. (Scotsman page 24)

Scottish Banknotes: Brian Monteith comments in the Scotsman on Scottish banknotes and whether there is a need for them to be recognised as legal tender throughout the UK. ( page 28)

Interest Rates: Interest rates are set to be cut again today despite fresh signs that the economy may have passed through the deepest phase of the credit crunch. (Scotsman page 30, Telegraph page 8)

High Street: The UK high street was poised for a major shake-up last night after one of its most powerful financiers, Icelandic investment giant Baugur, moved to the brink of bankruptcy having failed to bring its £1bn debt burden under control. Baugur has stakes in both Jenners and House of Fraser. (Herald page 1, Times page 6, Guardian page 6, FT page 1, Telegraph page B1, Courier page 5, Press and Journal page 10, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 1)

Scottish Economic Crisis: The First Minister and Jim Murphy, the Secretary of State for Scotland, are to meet for a second time with trade unions and business representatives to set out Scotland’s response to the economic crisis. The meeting is to be held on 11 March at the CBI Scotland offices in Glasgow. (Herald page 7)

Trump Golf: The seven councillors who rejected Donald Trump’s plans to build the world’s greatest golf course in Aberdeenshire appear to have saved the tycoon more than £300m. The credit crunch could shave 30% off original estimates for the £1billion proposal. (Press and Journal page 1)

Golf Initiative: Golfers coming from abroad to their sport’s spiritual home could boost the Scottish economy by almost £15million, First Minister Alex Salmond said yesterday. (Press and Journal page 17, Daily Express page 7)


University Cutbacks: A Scottish University has blamed the credit crunch for its decision to buy fewer books. Edinburgh University’s library is to stop buying less well-used texts and cancel some online subscriptions. (Scotsman
page 18)


SNP Budget: SNP Ministers celebrated last night after the Budget was approved by every MSP in Parliament except the two Green MSPs who voted against it as they had done the week before. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Times page 14, Telegraph page 11, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 2, Sun page 2, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 6, Daily Record page 2)

Stem Cell Research: Barack Obama’s commitment to furthering stem cell research in the United States is a ‘threat’ to Scottish companies, according to Scottish Enterprise’s head of life science. However, Rhona Allison, senior director of life sciences at the agency, has maintained that Scottish firms should be able to exploit the opportunities presented by Obama’s pledge. (Scotsman page 32)

RSPCA: The English based animal charity, the RSPCA, which had denied deliberately raising money in Scotland, has admitted accepting up to £1.25m a year from Scottish donors. (Herald
page 8)

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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