Scottish news bulletin: 9th March 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

Living Wage: Scotland’s biggest local authority is set to raise the minimum wage for staff to £7 an hour, more than 20% higher than the national rate despite the credit crunch. Glasgow City Council will raise the wages of 700 workers by 75p an hour. (Sunday Times page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 2, Times page 11)

Lloyds banking group: Lloyds banking group staff are poised for around £80 million in bonuses despite a multi-billion pound bailout from the tax payer, it was reported last night. (Scotsman page 2)

Crime

Real IRA: Dissident Republican group the Real IRA last night claimed responsibility for the murderous ambush of British soldiers and civilians outside an army barracks in Northern Ireland. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1)

Local Government

Expenses: Senior officials at local authorities and other public bodies should follow the lead of chief constables by publishing all of their expense details, according to the Scottish Information Commissioner. (Herald
page 1)

Education

Hardship Funds: Student hardship in Scotland has reached a ‘critical’ level as universities run out of crisis funds to help those struggling to find enough money to continue their course. With bank loans drying up and a shortage of part-time jobs, more students are calling on the emergency grants, known as discretionary funds, to survive the economic downturn. (Scotsman page 1)

Politics

Referendum: Eddie Barnes and Tom Peterkin comment in Scotland on Sunday on Holyrood’s vote against the referendum on independence. (Scotland on Sunday page 12)

SNP coalition: The Scottish Liberal Democrats are preparing to form a coalition with the Scottish National party, following the next election in two years time. Tavish Scott, the Scottish Lib Dem leader, has said that he believes a power-sharing deal would be the best option for his party and would consign Labour to another four years to opposition. (Sunday Times page 7)

Most Influential Small Nation: Scotland is probably the most influential small nation on Earth because of the United Kingdom’s membership of various international organisations, Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy claimed yesterday. He also said that ‘every party in Scotland has the right to celebrate the Saltire as a symbol of Scottishness’ and that Labour should reclaim the Saltire. (Times page 5)

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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