Scottish news bulletin: 26th 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

Standard Life: Insurance giant Standard Life yesterday announced it would cut 195 jobs across its UK sales division in response to ‘a backdrop of unprecedented volatility in global markets’. 47 of these redundancies will take place in Scotland. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 8)

Sir Fred Goodwin: Angry ministers last night vowed to ‘claw back’ some of the pension of former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin after it emerged he was already drawing £650,000 a year. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 10, Daily Record page 1)

Scots Jobs: Gordon Brown was accused yesterday of placing 8,700 Scottish jobs at risk under the UK government’s plan for £1 billion of cuts in Scotland. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 8, Times page 21, FT page 2, Courier page 13, Press and Journal page 10)

Borrowing Powers: Gordon Brown yesterday challenged Alex Salmond’s calls for borrowing powers by demanding an explanation of how Holyrood would repay the money. (Telegraph page 8)

Tourism: Visitor numbers at Scotland’s flagship tourist attractions fell sharply last year by at least 10 percent, figures released today reveal. The cost of fuel, miserable summer weather and the strength of pound against the dollar and the euro were all blamed for the decline in Scotland yesterday. (Scotsman page 13)

Scottish Economy: Scotland is poised to experience the worst economic slump since the 1930s, according to the revised forecasts from the respected Fraser of Allander Institute, with as many as 226,000 people facing unemployment in its worst case scenario. The country is not expected to return to previous levels of growth until 2012. (Herald page 32, Times page 21, Telegraph page 8)

Transport

Edinburgh Trams: Edinburgh’s troubled tram project was hit by a new row last night after it emerged that the German contractor accused of ‘downing tools’ in Princes Street was carrying on with work elsewhere in the city. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 2)

Local Government

St James Quarter: Developers behind a proposed £850 million project which promises to transform Edinburgh city centre yesterday vowed to press ahead- despite the economic downturn. (Scotsman
page 15)

Sharing Services: Scotland’s councils need to speed up progress in sharing services to save taxpayers cash, the Accounts Commission for Scotland, the country’s public sector financial watchdog stated yesterday. (Herald page 1)

Politics

David Cameron: David Cameron’s six year old son Ivan tragically died yesterday, after suffering from a neurological disorder since birth. Gordon Brown, amongst other leaders and politicians, sent his condolences and cancelled Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Guardian page 1, Times page 6, Telegraph page 1, FT page 2, Courier page 3, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Record page 1, Daily Express page 1, Sun page 1, Daily Mirror page 1, Daily Mail page 1)

Royal Mail: Gordon Brown faced growing threats to his authority last night, after a number of ministerial aides signed up to campaign against the part-privatisation of Royal Mail. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 12, Guardian page 1, Times page 3, Telegraph page 6, FT page 4, Courier page 13, P&J page 12)

Referendum: Alex Salmond’s best hope of holding a independence referendum next year has been lost after Liberal Democrats said they would oppose the vote under any circumstances. (Telegraph page 2)

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