Scottish news bulletin: 14th April 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

Unemployment: Traditional manufacturing areas are showing the highest increases in unemployment during the recession according to a study by the Work Foundation. The increase in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Glasgow is the third highest in the UK (Guardian page 23, Scotsman page 28, Record page 2).

Finance sector jobs: More than 24,000 finance sector jobs could be lost in Scotland over the next two years according to a study for Scottish Enterprise by DTZ (Herald (Monday) page 1).

Scottish recovery: Although Scotland may be ‘beyond the worst’ of the recession, recovery ‘remains out of sight’, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s latest purchasing managers’ index (Scotsman page 28). Michael Fry argues that Scotland’s entrepreneurs hold the key to creating new sources of income (Sunday Herald page 38).

All-party talks: Gordon Brown will host all-party talks with Scotland’s political leaders on the state of the economy ahead of the first meeting of the UK Cabinet in Scotland for almost a century (Times (Monday) page 19, Scotsman (Monday) page 2).

Research funding: A leading financier has warned that Scotland risks being left behind in terms of research and development funding because of its over-reliance on state funds. Rohit Talwar argues that Scottish businesses must rise to the challenge of generating their own money for research (Times page 8).

Health

NHS spending: A leading cancer specialist has warned that ‘tough choices’ will need to be made about which treatments the NHS can afford to fund. Prof John Smyth called for a wide-ranging debate about how the finite NHS budget should be spent (Sunday Herald page 7, Sun (Monday) page 4, Telegraph page 2).

Education

Teachers’ pay: Sir Tom Hunter, one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs, has called for under-performing teachers to be sacked and for teachers’ pay to be linked to performance (Sunday Herald page 1, Express (Monday) page 8).

National curriculum: Former chief inspector of schools in England Chris Woodhead criticises the Scottish Government’s proposed Curriculum for Excellence, saying that it risks ‘making a mockery of education’ (Sunday Times Ecosse page 4).

Politics

Lottery funding: The Scottish arts and culture sector is facing a £44m squeeze in the funding it receives from the lottery due to flat ticket sales, the London Olympics and accounting changes at the Heritage Lottery Fund (Herald page 1). Phil Miller comments on the evolution of the new arts funding body Creative Scotland (Herald page 15).

Equal pay: Tens of thousands of equal pay cases which have been on hold for years should now be able to progress through the legal system because of a ruling by the Appeal Court in England and Wales (Herald page 5).

Number 10 emails: Gordon Brown has written personal letters expressing ‘great regret’ to David Cameron and other senior Conservatives slurred by his former aide, Damian McBride, in a leaked email. Mr Brown also wrote to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, calling for the rules about special advisors to be tightened (Times page 1, Guardian page 1, Telegraph page 1, Herald page 1).

Scottish independence: Murray Ritchie comments on the SNP’s strategy to achieve independence in the light of the recent death of Professor Sir Neil MacCormick (Scotland on Sunday page 16).

Cardinal’s criticism: Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics, has said that Scotland is ‘staring into the abyss of social collapse’ due to the Scottish Government’s failure to address the underlying causes of social breakdown (Scotsman (Monday) page 18, Herald (Monday) page 3, Telegraph (Monday) 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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