Scottish news bulletin - 21st 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.
Budget: In a speech to the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) the deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, appeared to distance herself from the Chancellor’s plans for spending cuts in Wednesday’s budget, arguing “you cannot cut your way out of recession”. She also told the STUC that she agreed with their demand for the Chancellor to scrap £500m of proposed cuts to the Scottish block grant (Scotsman
Building societies: The chief executive of Scotland’s only surviving building society has said that the collapse of the Dunfermline Building Society has damaged the reputation of the mutual sector. However, Gerry Kay said that the Scottish Building Society had benefited from a surge in business (Herald page 28).
New drugs strategy: The Scottish Government’s drugs and alcohol framework will include a new government-funded independent charity to push for services for drug addicts (Herald page 4, Courier page 3, Scotsman page 16).
US-style courts: Opposition parties have criticised the Justice Secretary’s decision to abandon plans for US-style community courts. The Scottish Government had planned to set up the courts in the east end of Glasgow but the scheme has now been scrapped because it was too expensive (Herald page 2).
High speed trains: MPs on the Scottish Affairs committee are to call for Britain’s network of high speed train lines to be built from Scotland southwards, rather than between London and the West Midlands (Herald page 5).
College grants: Scotland’s Colleges has called on the Scottish Government to use £30m earmarked for student support to take college students out of the loans system and give them grants instead (Scotsman page 8).
Reform Scotland: Alan Cochrane commends Reform Scotland’s approach to education reform but criticises the think-tank for not taking a stance on independence (Telegraph page 14).
Royal Mail: Taxpayers would lose millions of pounds if Royal Mail were privatised, according to financial analysis carried out by the pressure group Compass (Herald page 1).
Email smears: The former prime ministerial aide, Damian McBride, who resigned after trying to smear senior Conservatives now faces expulsion from the Labour Party (Herald page 6). A prominent Conservative blogger has also accused Labour of creating a website, A Leaky Chanter, to smear the SNP (Times page 5).