Scottish news bulletin: 18th February 2009

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Chancellor, Alistair Darling, yesterday made a move towards a 90% cut in the bonuses of employees at the Royal Bank of Scotland announcing also that lesser-paid staff will be given a 10% pay-rise to make up for the shortfall in wages.

Daily Political Media Summary: 18 February 2009

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Banking Bonuses:
Chancellor, Alistair Darling, yesterday made a move towards a 90% cut in the bonuses of employees at the Royal Bank of Scotland announcing also that lesser-paid staff will be given a 10% pay-rise to make up for the shortfall in wages.
(The Scotsman page 1, Ross Lydall in The Scotsman,
The Herald page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Times page 1 and page 2, The Guardian page 1 and page 14, FT page 1, The P & J page 1, The Courier and Advertiser page 6, Daily Mail page 4, Daily Mirror page 1 and page 4, Daily Express page 1, The Sun page 6)

Inflation:
Inflation hit its lowest level for nearly half a century in the twelve months leading up to January according to ONS figures, causing concerns that Britain could be on course to deflation. (The Scotsman page 8,
The Herald page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 1, FT page 4, Daily Mail page 8)

Pension figures:
A report released today claims that one in five Britons within five years of statutory retirement has no pension savings. (The Scotsman page 8)

Retail Sales:
The Scottish Retail Consortium announced a 2% rise from last year of January sales, which was 0.9% above the UK average.
However, experts warned that there was no guarantee that the sector is improving and the SRC stated that the improvement was likely due to clearances and food sales. (The Scotsman page 30, The Herald page 1, The Daily Telegraph page 11)

Property prices:

Whilst house prices in Scotland have continued to decline, according to the Communities and Local Government department house index, these have done so more slowly than in the rest of the UK. (The Scotsman page 30)

Paper Mill job losses:
A paper mill in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire is to close. 371 jobs will be lost as a result. (The Daily Telegraph page 11, The Courier and Advertiser page 6, Daily Record page 4, The Sun page 4)

Crime

RBS legal case:
A former QC who claims that the Royal Bank of Scotland was insolvent when they sold him shares last year will have his case against the bank heard today at Oban Sheriff Court. (The Scotsman page 5, The Daily Telegraph page 8, The P & J page 10, Daily Mirror page 4, Daily Express page 6)

Prison drug problem:
Figures have reported that two thirds of inmates released from Aberdeen’s Craiginches prison tested positive for illegal drugs. Chronic overcrowding and staff shortages have been blamed as the cause. (The Scotsman page 6 and page 25, The Herald page 5, The P & J page 1 & page 6, Daily Record page 19)

Immigration problem:

Strathclyde Police Chief, Stephen House, has warned of dangers of not checking EU immigrants entering Scotland who may possess a criminal record prior to arrival. (Daily Mail page 1)

Transport

Police race review:
A cut in the number of ‘stop and searches’ has been reported by the British Transport Police at train stations.
This follows news that a number of complaints were made that Scottish Asians were six times more likely to be stopped. (The Scotsman page 17)

Princes Street closure:
Transport chiefs in Edinburgh are circulating more than 120,000 leaflets today to inform travellers that Princes Street will close for 10 months beginning this weekend as part of work taking place to build a tram system. (The Scotsman page 18)

Health

Smoking figures:
Figures published in the British Medical Journal show that in Scotland smoking is a stronger determinant that money, gender or social class on an individual’s health. (The Scotsman page 13, The Herald

page 10, The Courier and Advertiser page 13, Daily Record page 18)

Cancer waiting times:
Liberal Democrat Health spokesman Ross Finnie yesterday called for an end to the ‘postcode lottery’ over waiting times for cancer treatment. (The Herald page 8, Daily express page 4)

Amnesia research:
Neurologists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered a link between short-term amnesia and epilepsy. (The Times page 15)

Politics

Calman Commission:
The Calman Commission, set up to find ways of improving the devolution settlement, yesterday ruled out the Liberal Democrat’s proposed federal method in a letter to a member of the public. (The Scotsman page 11)

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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