News in Scotland - Wednesday

alistair-darling.jpg
Better Together chief Alistair Darling has argued that an independent
Scotland would have problems with EU membership, however with the
UK seeming likely to leave is that a now a weakness of the 'no' campaign?

Lawson EU comments leave ‘no’ campaign 'impaled by its own arguments', say SNP

Responding to the former UK Chancellor Nigel Lawson's comments that the UK should leave the EU, the SNP's Angus Robertson has said: “Alistair Darling – rightly – has stressed the importance of being a part of the single market, but calls from Lord Lawson adds pressure to the No campaign...By allying himself with a right-wing Eurosceptic party in the anti-independence campaign, Mr Darling wants to take Scotland down a path which will lead to it becoming isolated in the UK, when what we need is a strong voice in Europe with independence."

Independence: 'yes' vote a chance to lower energy bills, research shows

An independent Scotland would have an opportunity to use money generated from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to fund energy efficiency measures and so lower energy bills for its citizens, according to a paper published by the David Hume Institute. Many Scots, especially pensioners, are currently experiencing energy poverty and the problem is deepening as quantitative easing (money printing) policies from London drive up energy price inflation.

More Scottish news:

 

Charities consider independence future

Some charities with Scottish operations are considering what independence will mean for their funding situation. The information has come to light after the Institute of Fundraising (IOF) Scotland issued findings that half of the nation's larger charities expect income to fall from UK-wide trusts and businesses. The report did not indicate if charities thought that pressure on the charity sector to provide support would decrease after independence.

Scots subsidise English flood insurance holders

Flood insurance on English properties are being subsidised by households in Scotland by as much as £430 per year according to MSPs. Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse has called on UK ministers to renegotiate a deal with insurers so that Scottish households pay a premium which reflects the lower risk of flood damage in Scotland. The problem arises because riskier areas become subsidised by houses in safer areas.

INTERNATIONAL

UK crisis: TUC raises alarm over 'lost decade' as IMF arrive in UK

The UK's economic crisis is being exacerbated by Westminster austerity policies leading to a "lost decade of growth" according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We truly are experiencing a lost decade for growth. While other countries are already seeing a rise in economic output, the UK won't return to its pre-crash level for another four years...Even George Osborne's favourite economic institution, the IMF, is calling on him to change course."                 

UK crisis: Westminster bringing the care system to the brink of ‘collapse’

More of the older generation and citizens with disabilities will be denied state-funded care support over the next two years as local authorities continue to face huge cuts from Westminster, social care chiefs have warned. The scale and severity of the financial squeeze is laid bare in an Adass survey which shows that by April 2014 councils in England will have lost £2.7bn from adult social care services since 2010 – equivalent to 20 percent of their care budgets – as demand for services continues to rise. Cllr Zoe Patrick, Chair of the Local Government Association Community Wellbeing Board, said: "The stark reality is that if such vast sums of money continue to be taken out of the care system it could be in very real danger of collapse".                                          

David Cameron shifts policy on immigration to stem electoral losses to Ukip

David Cameron will today make his hardest effort yet to prevent a shift of his core vote to Ukip by unveiling measures to stem the flow of EU migrants to the UK. Cameron's third Queen's Speech will be a promise to restrict EU migrants' access to jobseeker's allowance to six months, issue new guidance to local authorities to give priority to local people in social housing, and place new responsibilities on EU member states to pay if their citizens use the NHS. Theresa May, the home secretary, will also change the law to make it impossible for suspected criminals or terrorists to remain in the UK by citing Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, and the right to family life. However, analysis of Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) figures by the Migration Matters Trust reveals that migrants contribute more to the economy through tax than they take in benefits.

Syria faces internet blackout after recent attacks

Access to the internet in Syria appeared to have been cut off on Monday evening, according to a number of monitoring companies, prompting speculation that the apparent blackout was an attempt by the Syrian government to disrupt the online activities of opponents. Others believe it may be a cyber-attack by external enemies.  It is the latest in a series of cyber blackouts to strike Syria since the conflict began two years ago. The Syrian government has denied it was involved in last year’s countrywide internet outage, accusing the opposition of responsibility – who often use social media to upload videos and images of massacres they claim were perpetrated by government forces. The violence in Syria has shown no signs of relenting in recent weeks – with Israel and western allies denying involvement in recent attacks.                                   

Professor Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel

Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Hawking's decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions - telling friends that he decided to follow the advice of Palestinian colleagues who unanimously agreed that he should not attend. By participating in the boycott, Hawking joins a small but growing list of personalities who have turned down invitations to visit Israel, including Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Annie Lennox and Mike Leigh.

 

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published this page in News 2013-05-08 10:52:54 +0100