Scottish news bulletin: 24th November 2008

  • Reform Scotland
  • 24 November 2008

Data courtesy of Reform Scotland


Pre-budget report: Speculation and comment ahead of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report later today.
The report is thought likely to offer tax cuts including cutting VAT to 15%.

However there is also suggestion that Labour is planning a new higher rate of income tax on those earning more than £150,000 a year that will be introduced in 2011, after the next election. (Scotsman page 1, Lindsay McIntosh in the Scotsman, Lesley Riddoch in the Scotsman, The Herald page 1, Sun page 2, Jackie Ashley and Larry Elliot in The Guardian, Daily Express page 5, Daily Mail page 1, The Times page 1, Daily Record page 8, FT page 15 and page 1, The P&K page 1, Roger Bootle and Janet Daley in The Telegraph, The Telegraph page 1, The Courier page 1, Scotland on Sunday page 1, Eddie Barnes in the Scotland on Sunday, Kenny Farquharson in the Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Post page 2, Eamonn Butler in the Sunday Post, Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald, Sunday Times page 1, Dominic Lawson in the Ecosse, Sunday Times)

Public sector pay: According to research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, top public sector executives saw their pay and perks increase by 11% last year, more than three times the average salary increase. (Scotsman page 6, The P&J page 11)

Bank lending: A survey by the CBI suggests that banks are cutting existing lines of credit and refusing to extend new lines of credit to UK businesses. (Scotsman page 25, The Guardian page 1, FT page 4)

Scottish Recession: Scotland is facing its worst recession since the 1980s a report by the Ernest and Young Scottish Item Club will conclude; unemployment is set to rise 4.4%. However commentators have suggested that Scotland will be less affected by the recession than the rest of the UK. (Daily Express page 2, Peter Jones in The Times, The P&J page 5, The Telegraph page 12, The Courier page 7)

Jobs: Two out of the three jobs created since 1998 have been in parts of the economy dominated by public services, the private sector has been revealed to be less dynamic than previously thought. (FT page 1)

Housing: Increases in debt and repossessions. (Cathy Jamieson in Daily Express)


Under-age drinking: Lothian and Borders Police’s temporary chief constable has said that parents who allow their children to get drunk in the family home are “beyond irresponsible” and “failing in their duty of care”. (Scotsman page 13, Burning Issue in the Scotsman)

Prisoners’ phones: Prisoners caught with mobile phones will have their jail terms increased in an effort to stop gangland figures organising crimes from behind bars. (The Herald page 3, The P&J page 9, The Courier page 3)

Progress courts: Defendants community service sentences could be reviewed by progress courts in proposals being considered by the Scottish government. (The Herald page 1)

Prison Gambling: The Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has launched an investigation into prison gambling after it emerged that cards, chips and green mats were bought for a prison in Edinburgh. Gambling for money in prison is illegal, yet sources claim that a cash tab is often kept with the promise that relatives will settle the debt. (Daily Mail page 22)


Belt: A leading Scottish Tory MSP is calling for a debate over re-introducing the belt into schools to tackle out of control children. (Daily Express page 8, Daily Mail page 2,
Sunday Times page 1)

Playground police: Peter Ross in the Scotland on Sunday (page 16) investigates the impact police presence in school playgrounds has had.


Down's Syndrome: It was revealed yesterday that more babies are being born with Down’s syndrome than before pre-natal screening was introduced at the end of the 1980s. (Scotsman page 6, The Herald page 5, Daily Mail page 18, The Times page 3, The Telegraph page 15)

C. Diff inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon Health Secretary has been accused of playing political games with families of the victims of the C. Diff outbreak in Vale of Leven Hospital. (The Times page 5,
Sunday Post page 1, Sunday Times page 4)

Children at risk of abuse: 600 babies a year are born into families which place them at immediate risk of being abused. These children are placed on the child protection register before they are born, mostly because of their mother’s drink or drug problems. (The Herald page 10, Daily Express page 10, Daily Mirror page 16, Scotland on Sunday page 1)

Local Government

Council tax: John Swinney yesterday insisted that local authorities had enough money to deliver a freeze in council tax next year without receiving additional resources from the Scottish Government. (Scotsman page 8)


Labour party: Anne Moffat, the Labour MP for East Lothian who is facing a battle with her local constituency party, has accused her critics within the Labour party of being sexist and not liking strong women. (Scotsman page 11, Sun page 2, The Herald page 7,
Sunday Herald page 1, Ian Bellin the Sunday Herald)

Stephen Ladyman: Former transport minister Stephen Ladyman MP has admitted using his parliamentary office and his connections as a former minister to lobby officials for contracts for a private company. (Sunday Times page 1)

Public building projects: Andy Kerr in the Scotsman (page 24) criticises the SNP’s lack of action on commissioning new public building projects.

Lottery Funding: Scottish charities which in the past have benefitted from lottery funds will face a 70% cut in their funding as resources are diverted to the London Olympics. (The Herald page 8)

Tory MSPs: Tory MSPs have been banned from speaking out on devolution for fear they might embarrass party leader David Cameron. (Daily Mail page 2, Alan Cochrane in The Telegraph,
Sunday Times page 2)

Housing: The Scottish government is being asked to push ahead with privately financed building projects to boost the economy. (The Times page 5, The P&J page 5)

Patrick Harvie : The leader of the Scottish Green party is interviewed in the Ecosse, Sunday Times.

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.