Scottish news bulletin: 26th March 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions.

Economy

Fiscal Stimulus plan:Gordon Brown hinted yesterday that a fiscal stimulus would not feature in next month’s budget after he faced severe criticism yesterday for the move. (FT page 1, Daily Mirror page 5, The Guardian page 1, The Sun page 6, The Daily Telegraph page 4, The Daily Mail pages 8 & 9, Daily Record page 1, The Courier and Advertiser page 13)

Jobs losses: Banking giant HSBC yesterday announced that 1200 jobs are under threat following a business review. It employs 3500 throughout Scotland, of whom 30 have already received redundancy notices. Meanwhile, Glasgow Science Centre also confirmed plans to cut 12 members of staff. (The Herald page 5 & page 8, The Scotsman page 20)

Glasgow Museum funding: Discussions will take place in May regarding government funding to Glasgow Museums, such as the Kelvingrove and the Burrell Collection, which currently receive almost none. (The Herald page 10)

Crime

Fiscal fines: The latest report by the Inspectorate of the Prosecution shows that 45% of fiscal fines issued by the Scottish justice system are not paid, despite the recruitment of dozens of enforcement officers, leading to a shortfall in expected revenues of almost £2 million. (The Herald page 1)

Fundraising regulations: The Scottish Government have laid out new charity regulations aimed at preventing fundraising scandals by unregulated companies. (The Herald page 1)

Transport

Tram works: The work on Edinburgh’s new tram system resumed yesterday on Princes Street after a delay of more than a month because of a row between Edinburgh City Council and the leading contractor. (The Herald page 2)

Transport Official: Guy Houston, former finance director at Transport Scotland, who resigned over a shareholding row, told members of Holyrood’s audit committee that he was not guilty of any impropriety. (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 4, The Sun page 2, Daily Record page 2)

Local Government

Council debt rise: Debts of more than £9.5billion have been accumulated by Scottish councils according to new figures, amounting to £1859 for every person. (The Scotsman page 7)

Health

Co-payments: Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon issued new guidelines yesterday announcing that patients accessing, and paying for, prescription drugs independently of the NHS will still have access to the free healthcare they would otherwise be entitled to. The move will also allow pharmaceutical companies to make financial incentives to the NHS. (The Herald page 6, The Scotsman page 10, The Sun page 2)

Drink and drug abuse: Audit Scotland have released a report which claims that drink and drug abuse throughout Scotland could cost the economy and taxpayer at least £5 billion. (The Times page 20, The Scotsman pages 8 & 9, The Sun page 21, Daily Express page 9, The Daily Telegraph page 8, The Daily Mail page 6, The Courier and Advertiser page 1)

Assisted suicide bill: Independent MSP Margo MacDonald has had support from individual campaigners on her assisted suicide bill which, after recent consultation, received around 400 responses. (The Herald page 2, The P&J page 11, The Scotsman page 12)

Education

Super-college deal: An agreement was reached yesterday which will see the merger of three of Glasgow’s colleges into one £300million ‘super-campus’ in the city centre. (The Herald page 4)

University reform: The University of Aberdeen is planning reforms which would see potential students completing entrance exams in the hope of progressing straight to the second year of a four-year degree. The move is hoped to attract students from England as well as Scotland, where degrees generally take three years. (The Scotsman page 15)

Education spending: New figures released yesterday showed that funding for primary, secondary and special schools has received the smallest increase for a decade. (The Herald page 4, The Scotsman page 20, The Daily Telegraph page 8)

Female principal: St. Andrews University has installed its first female principal in its 596 year history. (The Herald page 4, The Scotsman page 15)

Teacher struck-off: A Dundee teacher was struck-off the teaching register after a hearing at the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC) which found her guilty of misconduct with a pupil. (The P&J page 1, The Scotsman page 16, The Sun page 29, Daily Express page 5, The Daily Telegraph page 1, The Daily Mail page 21, Daily Mirror page 11, The Courier and Advertiser page 1)

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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