Scottish news bulletin - 12th May 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

Recession: There are signs that the recession could be beginning to bottom out. The OECD said yesterday that there were indications of a “pause in the economic slowdown”. The Governor of the European Central Bank also expressed cautious optimism (Scotsman page 2, Times page 1, Mail page 2, FT page 1). However, the chief executive of HSBC, Michael Geoghegan, has warned against talk of an early recovery (Herald page 30, Guardian page 24).

Smart meters: The UK Government plans to install smart meters in every home by 2020. The meters display how much energy is being used at any one time and transmit information about households’ energy use direct to utility companies (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 10, P&J page 11).

Health

School nurses: The SNP has been accused of breaking another manifesto pledge after new figures revealed that it had only recruited an extra 17 school nurses between 2007 and 2008. It had pledged to double the number to 624 (Scotsman
page 2, P&J page 9).

Harmful incidents: More than 16,000 incidents which may have harmed NHS patients or staff were reported in Scotland in the last year (Scotsman page 6).

Education

Computing: At least eight local authorities in Scotland have secondary schools which are dropping Computing at exam level, reportedly to save cash (Scotsman
page 15).

Student loans: Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have created a joint submission to a consultation on students’ income calling for every student to be able to borrow £200 more and for the poorest 20,000 to be given an extra £500 in grants (Scotsman page 15).

Politics

MPs’ expenses: Further revelations about the expenses claims of senior Conservatives. There is also speculation about the position of the Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, after he criticised other MPs during a debate and did not apologise on behalf of MPs for what had happened (Telegraph page 1, Scotsman page 8, Herald page 1). A poll has shown a sharp drop in support for Labour and the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems and smaller parties benefiting (Times page 1).

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