News in Scotland - Wednesday

donald-trump.jpg
Donald Trump has put his £750mn Menie golf resort construction on hold
to continue his fight against turbines being located in Aberdeen Bay

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

Robinson: 'yes' vote only way to achieve more powers

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson has said that the treatment of the province by David Cameron over refusing to devolve corporation tax is effectively saying "...to the people of Scotland ,that if you want more fiscal autonomy than you have at the present time, the only way to have it is through independence.” Stewart Hosie MP, the SNP's Westminster treasury spokesperson, said: “This is a monumental misjudgement by the UK government – and Mr Robinson’s comments have let the cat out of the bag."

Food voucher Britain if Scots vote 'no'

Further evidence of the disintegration of British society has emerged as campaigners raise the alarm of the arrival of food vouchers to provide emergency help to distressed British citizens. At a time when Better Together argues that Scotland's future is safe with the Union, English councils are introducing 'food stamps' next month to tide over the tens of thousands of vulnerable people who are struggling to survive as the UK economy sinks and more austerity measures are introduced. The measures will replace cash payments which are currently available under the 'social fund' programme. Many experts believe that the development could create a crime wave as many British citizens become increasingly desperate as jobs continue to disappear and soaring food price inflation makes essential groceries more expensive. The development is further evidence that the economic and social future within the Union may be more uncertain than previously assumed raising fears of a increased exodus of young Scots from Scotland in search of a viable career.

More Scottish news:

 

English take action against London bankers as Scots eye opportunity of independence

The new “People’s Assembly Against Austerity” has organised a march through London on 22 June backed by the Stop The War Coalition - and hope to break the record for the largest public rally in London's history. The organisation claims it will be “an alternative democratic forum to a Parliament that has failed the people it is supposed to represent.” Describing the march as “the launch-pad for mass resistance to austerity” as Britain faces an increased class war with the financial class which created our current economic crises. The development will spill over into Scotland's independence debate as 'yes' campaigners point to mass civil unrest in London as evidence that the future of the economic and political future of the UK appears increasingly uncertain and unstable.                                               

Trump to subject wind farm development to lengthy court battle

Donald Trump today put any future investment on his £750mn golf resort in Aberdeenshire on hold after the government gave the go ahead to the “monstrous” offshore wind farm planned for the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire. The property developer’s legal team is now preparing a case through Scottish, UK and European courts. Mr Trump claimed: “This was a purely political decision dictated by Alex Salmond, a man whose obsession with obsolete wind technology will destroy the magnificence and beauty of Scotland”. First Minister Alex Salmond instead stood firm saying the go ahead for the wind farm would put Scotland in “pole position” in the battle to harness offshore wind technology.

SNP MPs most active at Westminster

Numbers obtained by the Guardian show SNP MPs were the most active Scots MPs when speaking in debates and asking parliamentary questions. On average, the six SNP MPs asked 131 questions last year which is nearly double the Scottish average of just under 70 questions - and well above the English average of 55 parliamentary questions. SNP MP Pete Wishart said: "I'm delighted the hard work of our 6 MPs at Westminster is recognised."                                           

Scottish government negotiates increased EU funding

The UK government has announced an allocation of EU structural funds which it said will protect Scotland from a "big cut" in support. Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will each see a 5 percent reduction. The Scottish government said they were pleased that they had helped secure more funding – but instead claimed the reduction in the cut was due to its lobbying, and not the work of Westminster. Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish government voiced "deep concern" at the time much higher 30 percent cuts were communicated to them. She added: "Since then, Scottish government officials have been working with UK officials to identify an alternative allocation methodology”.                                           

Scotland to refuse evictions over the “bedroom tax”

Labour is calling on the Scottish government to pass emergency legislation to ensure no tenants are evicted as a result of arrears caused by the "bedroom tax". At the SNP's conference last weekend, the first minister promised that no SNP led council would evict tenants because of arrears caused by these changes – with Labour requesting a council compensation scheme to cover the arrears costs. It has been claimed as many as 95,000 people in Scotland may lose some of their housing benefit - with cuts of between £9 and £12 a week. Many want answers, but Iain Duncan Smith has again failed to give public evidence to the Welfare Reform Committee in defence of the tax. Mass protests will be taking place in all major UK cities this Easter weekend in retaliation of these further austerity measures Westminster is inflicting upon members of the Union.                                             

MSPs debate new post -16 education bill

MSPs are due to debate controversial Scottish government plans to change the way colleges and universities are run. Mr Russell has insisted there is broad support for the bill's aims which include widening access to university. Holyrood's education committee has backed the general principles of the bill but called for greater clarity - with Mr Russell agreeing that all parties should work together to develop the bill as it goes through its parliamentary process. Despite the concerns, MSPs are expected to back the bill in principle - the legislation still has to get through two further stages of parliamentary scrutiny before becoming law.    

UK banks reveal huge funding shortfalls

UK banks have to fill a £25bn capital hole by the end of the year to strengthen their balance sheets in the face of eurozone shocks and bad debts, the Bank of England said today. The 'black hole' is comprised of toxic loans that the banks will never see repaid, underestimates of how much compensation banks will have to pay for past mistakes, and costs not yet fully understood from new rules and regulations. The FPC did not not name and shame the individual banks but estimations that those with the most serious problems to fix are the ones that the UK taxpayer own chunks of - RBS and Lloyds. Such a disclosure reveals how the UK banking crisis is still very much ongoing. Economists state that as a result the UK economy is unlikely to flourish if the banks are still not being run properly.                                            

UK crisis: Osborne refutes accusations he is creating another housing bubble

George Osborne has defended his controversial budget policy aimed at boosting Britain's struggling housing market after his own economic watchdog warned that subsidies for mortgages would drive up property prices. He used last week's budget to announce a twin-track scheme for the mortgage market – dismissing the idea that the UK could enter another housing bubble - but the Office for Budget Responsibility which provides independent economic and financial forecasts for the Treasury has said Help to Buy would push up prices and have little impact on demand. The chancellor also refused to rule out breaking up Royal Bank of Scotland – 83 percent owned by the taxpayer – into a good and bad bank in an attempt to increase lending.                                         

Freezing UK temperatures could continue until end of April

Britain is set to remain in the grip of freezing temperatures until the end of next month, forecasters have predicted. The unseasonable weather has seen the country deluged by snow, blizzards and plummeting temperatures, leaving thousands of people in western Scotland facing a sixth day without power. With temperatures unlikely to recover to normal averages for the time of year until the latter part of next month, gas supplies running low - and the implementation of more Westminster benefit cuts at the weekend - many face the prospects of a freezing next few weeks unable to afford soaring energy prices.

Cyprus a sign of things to come for UK?

It is still not confirmed whether banks will reopen tomorrow (Thursday) across Cyprus as the government and other bodies consider their next steps after the bailout crisis led to restrictions on cash withdrawals and what were euphemistically called 'bank holidays'. It is thought limits to withdrawals will continue but foreign transactions and other capital outflows will be banned. With Chancellor Osborne's 'Funding for Lending' scheme being increasingly viewed as a backdoor banking sector bailout, concerns are that bank runs in Greece will spread across Europe into Britain as citizens increasingly worry if their savings and deposits will be safe or confiscated by the government to underwrite private banking debts.                                

US computer law to impose even heavier sanctions

The controversial US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could finally be updated — but to the opposite specifications of what activists like Aaron Swartz had been fighting for. Members of both the US Senate and the House of Representatives have said that the legislation is too strict and needs adjustment – but a discussion bill that has emerged would instead make the CFAA even stricter, allowing the government to pursue a multitude of non-malicious computer users, sentencing them to even lengthier prison sentences. If the proposed revisions to the CFAA are approved in Congress, not only will penalties be more severe but simply discussing alleged computer crimes could be grounds for a felony conviction.

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published this page in News 2013-03-27 12:18:26 +0000