November 30, 2022

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Scotland’s papers: UK financial market in ‘turmoil’ as ‘pound tanks’

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Tuesday’s front pages are dominated by the turmoil in the markets on Monday, which saw the pound touch an all-time low against the dollar. The i reports on the decision by several mortgage lenders – including Halifax, Virgin Money, and Skipton – to temporarily stop some or all new loans, and says others are expected to follow suit. The front page features a picture of Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng sliced by a graph showing the continual fall in the value of the pound over recent months.

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The withdrawal of mortgages came in anticipation of a rise in interest rates to as much as 6% by midway through next year, reports The Daily Telegraph. The paper says such a rise would add £800 to the monthly cost of a typical mortgage.

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“The pound Kwar-tanks,” reads the headline in the Metro. The paper says it wasn’t just the dollar that the pound fell against on Monday, but also the euro, the Japanese yen, and even the Russian ruble.

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The Times reports on concern among Conservative ministers about the new government’s economic strategy, and quotes one warning that the party faces a “world of pain” if voters blame it for soaring mortgage costs. The paper also carries the results of a YouGov poll giving Labour a 17-point lead, its biggest in more than two decades.

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The Herald says the Bank of England has said it “will not hesitate” to hike interest rates to further prop up the value of the sterling.

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The Scottish Daily Express urges its readers not to panic and says the chancellor “shrugged off yesterday’s financial market jitters with a vow to lay out his plan to bring down debt”. Mr Kwarteng announced he would bring forward an announcement of a “medium-term fiscal plan” to start bringing down debt levels following an adverse reaction to his £45bn package of tax cuts set out on Friday.

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Speculators who were able to profit from the turbulence by short selling the pound have “sparked fury”, reports the Scottish Daily Mail. The paper quotes senior Tories criticising traders for “trying to make money out of bad news” and warning against “talking the pound down”.

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The first minister has given her strongest indication yet that Holyrood will not follow the UK government’s tax cutting plans, according to The Scotsman. The paper says Nicola Sturgeon has branded Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts for the rich as “morally repugnant” and a “catastrophic disaster”.

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The Daily Record says the first minister labelled the No 10 plan as “catastrophic” and the “wrong thing to do” in Scotland.

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The Edinburgh Evening News also reports on the falling value of the pound, saying millions of households face further financial misery following the crisis.

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The SNP’s written case to the Supreme Court in the indyref2 case has been published in full by the party, reports The National. The written submission sets out the party’s case arguing that the Scottish Parliament has the competency to pass a bill legislating for a second independence referendum.

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Brewdog boss James Watt, 40, was subjected to a vicious online smear campaign which saw him scammed out of £100,000 by his ex, according to The Scottish Sun. The paper says Emili Ziem, 29, vowed to “take down” Mr Watt and set up fake social media pages spreading lies about him. She then conned him into paying £25,000 a time to unmask the sick “trolls”.

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The Daily Star of Scotland says Scottish football’s new £150m TV deal is set to be rubber-stamped this week after Rangers were effectively frozen out of the vote. The paper says it revealed earlier this month that the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) were ready to rip up their own rule book to force a bumper Sky deal through after the Ibrox club refused to give it their backing.

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The Courier leads with the death of a 26-year-old woman, killed in a road crash in north-east Fife. The paper says two vehicles were involved in the incident and three other people were injured.

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The Press and Journal reports that island communities in Scotland are being left to “suffer” due to high levels of ferry disruption, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said. The paper says islanders will be hit with a record number of cancellations this year, as figures show there were more that 7,000 cancellations in the first half of this year alone.

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Staff at an under-fire cycling charity claim they were made redundant in the middle of their shift, says the Glasgow Times. Despite an ongoing campaign to see the cycling track at Free Wheel North transferred to a new owner, four workers were laid off suddenly last Wednesday. A protest was held on Sunday afternoon at the gates of the Glasgow Green facility.

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The Dundee Evening Telegraph reports that a fire-raising “sex killer” who torched her own home to “burn old life away” has dodged a jail sentence. Victoria Kydd, 43, has been ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.

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An Aberdeen community is celebrating after winning a £3.2m prize from the People’s Postcode Lottery, according to the Evening Express.

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