Scottish news bulletin: 7th April 2009
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.
Public finances: The UK Government will have to find an extra £39bn by 2016 to fill a hole in the public finances either through tax rises or spending cuts, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Scotsman page 6, Guardian page 21, Mail page 2)
Scottish index: Jeff Meek argues for the creation of a Scottish index for the nation’s listed firms (Scotsman page 24).
Car sales: Sales of new cars in Scotland fell by 23 per cent last month. Car manufacturers called on the UK Government to offer more help for the industry (Herald page 4).
New homes: The supermarket chain Lidl and the house builder Taylor Wimpey have teamed up to propose the building of “no frills” homes in East Lothian. A one-bedroom flat is expected to cost around £64,000 if the scheme is approved by the council (Scotsman page 22).
Potholes: Half of the worst ten areas in the UK for damage caused by potholes are in Scotland according to Warranty Direct, an insurer (Scotsman page 13).
Chief executives’ remuneration: The Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council is the only top council official in Scotland among the top 100 earners in UK local government (Herald page 6, P&J page 1).
Diabetes: Almost 200 people a week are being diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland, according to new figures. Much of the increase is due to the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, common in middle-aged patients and linked to a poor diet and obesity (Scotsman page 1).
Sir Neil MacCormick: Professor Sir Neil MacCormick, one of the SNP’s most senior and respected figures, has died from cancer it was announced yesterday. He served as a special advisor to the Scottish Government until his death (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 8, Telegraph page 14).
Calman Commission: Michael Russell, the constitution minister, has offered to hold talks with the head of the major review of devolution. However, the Scottish Government insisted that the SNP administration’s view of the Calman Commission, which is not considering independence as an option, had not changed (Scotsman page 22, Courier page 6).
Scottish Futures Trust: The Scottish Government has appointed a previous critic of its scheme for building public sector infrastructure as chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust. Barry White has for the last two years headed BAM PPP, a company specialising in public private partnerships (Times page 13).
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.