Lastest polls point to an overall British vote to leave the EU – and a resounding Scottish vote to stay in. The referendum could be as early as June 16 or 23. The continuing UK constitutional crisis could step up through the gears this summer.
Two thirds of Scots, polls tell us, will vote to stay in the EU. Scotland’s stance pre-EUref is more positive but Cameron calls the shots. Yet the new post-Smith powers could enable Holyrood to deal with the most contentious issue – free movement and migration – in a more social way.
The First Minister has announced a welcome extra £54m for providing better access to mental health services In Scotland – including therapy-based treatments that produce longer-lasting results. Mental illness is the biggest single cause of misery in society: it must and will get greater political priority, Layard says in this interview.
The Scottish Welfare Reform Committee could have produced a modern-day Beverage Report for Scotland. But its recent report instead lacks radical novelty and tinkers around the edges, promising further division and inequality. An opportunity missed big time.
The Scottish Government has put the squeeze on spending and staffing levels within some public services. But not others. The agency handling student support, for instance, has had a big boost in staff – unknown to the public and, it seems, MSPs.
Scotland, like other western countries, has a drinking problem. Many of us will give up alcohol this month to aid charities – and get healthier. But is it worth it?