Homelessness and destitution are on the rise in Scotland as the cost of living
skyrockets and Westminster's austerity cuts deepen
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Independence: UK living costs rocket 25% as Scots face deepening austerity
Prospects of a future for Scots under Westminster rule look grim today after a new report showed that in recent years there has been a 25 percent drop in the standard of living since the financial crash in 2008 was turned into an economic crisis, according to a new report. The figures released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JFR) shows that any benefits people gained from an increase in personal tax allowance to $9440 were more than cancelled due to austerity cuts and a sharp rise in the cost of living. The cost of essential food and energy has grown far beyond the official rate of inflation, warns the think tank. A recent report showed that there had been an explosion in the number of Scots reduced to using foodbanks as a mean to feed themselves and their children with social commentators forecasting worse to come as Westminster austerity cuts continue.
Scottish government threatens EU with North Sea blockade
The Scottish government is threatening to deny EU fishing fleets access to Scotland's North Sea and West Atlantic fishing grounds unless Scotland receives preferential EU membership conditions. Mr Salmond's government has suffered from a lack of competence in the area of international diplomacy however it appears to be learning to play hardball in the EU corridors of power. Previously the SNP advanced the message that EU membership would be automatic - a position which caused anger and resistance across the EU, especially with states which have independence movements within them such as Spain and its relationship to Catalonia. Had the SNP played a more subtle card, some experts argue, they would not now be facing hostile resistance to negotiations for membership however the SNP government is using certain European nations' dependency on Scotland's vast sea resources to wrestle concessions and influence. Many within the wider independence movement would prefer membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which permits freedom of movement and trade across the EU without formal membership of the body whose executive body is not democratically elected.
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Only 3% of 'new' fresh investment will come to Scotland
The UK government has announced that £100bn will be spent on infrastructure construction however it has emerged that a mere 3 percent of that investment £300mn will be spent in Scotland. A Labour spokesman argued that many of these commitments had already been announced. In a further sign that the UK is effectively bankrupt the announcement by Danny Alexander revealed a further £15bn sale of taxpayers' assets, including student loans which will become privately owned.
500 jobs for Shetland as North Sea boom continues
A further 500 jobs are to be created at the Sullom Voe processing terminal as more projects go onstream west of Shetland. It is estimated that the terminal upgrade will see £500mn in new investment - a further sign that Scotland's North Sea oil and gas industry is one of the very few bright spots in the UK's declining economy.
Female-friendly Salmond refuses to attend men-only golf Open
Alex Salmond has revealed that he is refusing to attend the Open Championship at Muirfield this year demonstrating his opposition to male-only golf clubs. Mr Salmond has expressed his views about men-only golf clubs before. Women voters are widely known to be more cautious on constitutional change than men and so by taking the step of avoiding the men-only event, Mr Salmond will be able to brand himself and thus the 'yes' campaign as female friendly.
UK crisis: payday loan industry investigation
The speed at which vulnerable borrowers are given loans with exorbitant interest rates is to be investigated by the Competition Commission it is reported. Lenders were referred to the body by the Office of Fair Trading after serious concerns were raised over how loans were being marketed in the £2bn sector. Payday loans have proliferated as families across Britain face cash flow problems related to austerity and loss of income related to the UK's economic decline.
UK crisis: Coalition will need new tax grab to fund deficit, IFS warns
Despite Chancellor Osborne's announcement of fresh austerity cuts, the Uk government will need to raise a further £6bn in new taxes after the next Westminster election according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS). IFS Director Paul Johnson warned that the required savings cannot be made from cuts alone.
Concern over 'designer babies' as UK set to facilitate 'three-parent' treatment
Britain appears set to be the first nation to allow "three-parent" fertility treatments offered to families seeking to avoid passing incurable diseases to their offspring. The technique involves implanting genetically modified embryos into women and is currently only at the research stage of development. Ethical fears have been raised over how the process could lead to eugenic 'designer baby' services becoming commercially exploited.
Ecuador pre-empts US 'blackmail' over Snowdon asylum request
After threats from the US congress that it would block preferential trading rights to Ecuador should it refuse to comply with demands over US whistleblower Edward Snowdon asylum request. In response Ecuador renounced the act - set to be renewed in July - defying what it views as 'blackmail' aimed at bullying the South American nation. Mr Snowdon is the latest in a string of US whistleblowers who are widely believed to be facing political persecution from the Obama regime.
Syria: government making gains against western-backed insurgents
There are reports of growing confidence among government troops in the battle-ravaged nation. The government is regaining control over strategically important parts of the country such as the town of Qusair where Hezbollah became involved in the conflict as a result of the Israeli airforce invading the Syria sovereign airspace reportedly killing hundreds of Syrian troops. Attempts by the west and their gulf allies to rearm the fragmented insurgents which also comprises al-Qaeda have in recent times have failed to galvanize opposition forces. Around 100,000 people have been killed since the insurgents rose against the government according UN figures.
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