Scottish news bulletin: 30th 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

Dunfermline Building Society: The Chairman of Dunfermline Building Society (DBS) accused the Treasury of 'sacrificing' the Society by refusing to support a rescue package involving the Scottish Government and other building societies. DBS will now be broken up. The profitable parts of the business will be sold off and the losses taken over by the taxpayer. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Express page 1, Times page 1, Telegraph page 1, Courier page 1, P&J page 1, FT page 2). Bill Jamieson argues that the sale smacks of panic (Scotsman page 4). Ian Macwhirter laments the loss of Scotland’s reputation for sound banking (Herald page 17).

Scottish Widows: Scottish Widows Bank has announced a 10% increase in profits to £33.6million for 2008 (Scotsman page 26).

Crime

Drugs in prison: The Scottish Conservatives called yesterday for all prisoners to have drug tests after it was revealed that there were 2122 discoveries of drugs in prisons between January 2008 and March 2009 (Scotsman page 8). The Scottish Government is also facing opposition from prison officers over its plans to pilot a prison needle exchange programme for drug users (Herald page 9).

Local Government

Glasgow schools: A political row is erupting over Glasgow City Council’s proposals to close 25 primary and nursery schools in the city. Opposition politicians have accused it of playing politics with children’s education (Sunday Herald page 6).

Health

Breast cancer drug: The manufacturer of a drug used to treat advanced forms of breast cancer is appealing against the Scottish Medicines Consortium’s decision not to make it available on the NHS. Tyverb, made by GlaxoSmithKline, has also been refused NHS funding in England (Scotsman page 17).

Politics

Single Scottish police force: Senior police constables have made calls for a debate about whether Scotland should have a single national police force. Stephen House, chief constable of Strathclyde, has said that it is time for the current arrangements to be reviewed. He has been backed by Kevin Mathieson, chief constable of Tayside, and Allan Burnett, assistant chief constable of Fife (Herald page 1).

Jacqui Smith: The Home Secretary has apologised for claiming MPs’ allowances for two adult films watched by her husband. The Prime Minister said she was doing a 'great' job but opposition MPs have questioned whether she can continue (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 2, Times page 2, Telegraph page 1, Guardian page 1).

Stuart Wheeler: Stuart Wheeler, who had previously donated millions of pounds to the Conservatives, will be expelled from the Party after donating £100,000 to the UK Independence Party (Scotsman page 2, Telegraph page 1).

Public spending: Ian Fraser argues that Alex Salmond could learn from the Irish Prime Minister who has had to face up to cuts in public spending, rather than demanding a reversal of planned reductions in Scotland’s block grant (Sunday Times Business page 2).

Calman Commission: Alex Salmond has been accused of snubbing the Calman Commission after it emerged that he held talks with a Welsh review of devolution despite refusing to speak to the Scottish review (Scotland on Sunday 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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