Scottish news bulletin: 13th February 2009

  • Reform Scotland
  • 13 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.

Economy

HBOS: The FSA insisted yesterday that an investigation into HBOS was underway long before Mr Moore raised concern that the bank was “going too fast”. Earlier this week former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby quit his position as deputy chairman of the FSA amidst claims that he sacked Mr Moore in 2004. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 1, page 34)

Job cuts: Skills Development Scotland, the organisation intended to help Scotland out of the recession, announced yesterday that it would be cutting 160 jobs. The news resulted in opposition MSPs voicing concern that the cuts had come at the wrong time. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4)

Prestwick Airport Job Cuts: It was announced yesterday that Prestwick airport would be cutting 100 members of staff due to the ongoing recession. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 4)

Research and Innovation: Scotland’s leading economists have argued today that the Scottish Government should lend its support away from traditional industries and instead focus investment on research and innovation. (Scotsman
page 13, page 25, Herald page 1)

Diego: Scotland’s largest whiskey producer revealed yesterday cost cutting plans that could result in the loss of jobs cuts worldwide, possibly including 3,500 Scottish staff. Citing the global downturn, they also announced a cut in the annual profit target. (Scotsman page 29, Herald page 33, Telegraph Page B3)

Baxter’s: Scottish food group Baxters have announced a 96 per cent fall in pre-tax profits for its past financial year, blaming rising energy costs and an increase in raw costs and ingredients experienced in 2007. (Scotsman page 31, Herald page 32)

ASDA Bonuses: Around 16,000 Scottish staff will share a bonus of £2.6 million following a strong annual performance of supermarket chain ASDA. (Scotsman page 33)

Glenmorangie: Scottish Whiskey distiller, Glenmorangie, announced details of a new bottling site in Livingston which will be completed in 2010. (Herald page 3)

Local Government

Council Tax Freeze: More than half of Scotland’s local councils have now agreed to freeze council tax bills, leaving 10 more expected to sign up in the coming week. (Scotsman page 8)

Health

Superbug: Britain’s leading microbiologist has called Scotland the “sick man of Europe” with regard to the rate of hospital-acquired infections. Launching a 15 point action plan, he warned that preventative measures in Scotland were falling behind both that of England and Europe. (Telegraph page 1)

Education

Edinburgh Rector: Journalist Iain Macwhirter was last night voted in as the next rector of Edinburgh University beating Labour MSP George Foulkes and taking 69 % of the vote. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 3)

Paying Conditions: Teacher Marj Adams comments on Reform Scotland’s latest report, Parent Power, in the Times Educational Supplement. (TESS page 23)

Politics

Local Income Tax: There was confusion last night over the SNP’s decision to scrap its local income tax policy. Finance Secretary John Swinney said that the decision was due to the lack of a parliamentary majority, however it emerged yesterday that Mr Swinney had vowed last November that the plans would go ahead despite the expected opposition. A senior advisor to Alex Salmond confirmed that the policy will appear in the SNP’s 2011 manifesto. (Scotsman page 12, Telegraph page 2, page 7, Courier page 1, Daily Express page 4, Daily Mail page 2) £500m Scottish Budget Cut: Alex Salmond and Scottish Labour leader Ian Gray shared a heated exchange in parliament yesterday over the £500m budget cut. Mr Gray reportedly accused the First Minister of trying to draw attention away from the local income tax u-turn. (Herald page 6)

Culture Minister: Culture Minister Mike Russell announced yesterday his intention to meet politicians and culture chiefs to demand support for Scotland’s galleries. (Scotsman page 16)

Reshuffle: Following the First Minister’s cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, Alex Neil, Roseanna Cunningham and Keith Brown were yesterday officially sworn in as new ministers in the Scottish Government. (Herald page 7)

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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