Independence: the mandate debate

When is a White Paper not a White Paper? When it is a Scottish Government White Paper. Or so say the opponents of independence.

BLOG: Peter MacMahon talks White Paper

ITV Border's Political Editor Peter MacMahon talks about the announcement that will outline what independence will mean for Scotland.

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Debt warning over festive season

by Hannah McNulty

With the countdown on until Christmas, debt advice organisations are urging people to get help now rather than wait for the bills to come in. Research out today suggests 13% of people in Scotland will spend £1000 or more this Christmas, a much higher percentage than people in England.

Organisations like the Citizen's Advice Bureau say some people will find themselves heavily in debt in the 2014. Watch Hannah McNulty's report below

For more advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureau click here

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Study finds Scots are "biggest spenders"

A survey has found people in Scotland are the biggest spenders in Britain when it comes to Christmas.

The research by a debt advice website found 13 per cent of people plan to spend more than 1,000 pounds.

The figure is more than three times the number of people in England who are intending to spend that amount.

It has led to warnings some could find themselves with bills they are unable to pay in the new year.

We asked shoppers in Dumfries how they are preparing financially.

24% of Scots will be in debt thanks to Christmas

Almost a quarter of people in Scotland will find themselves in debt as a result of this Christmas.

24% of Scots say they are expecting to end up in debt this year compared to 17% of English people and 20% in Wales.

A survey carried out by ScotlandDebt.co.uk found that being the most generous spenders at Christmas is having a negative affect on many people in Scotland.

As 13% expect to spend over £1,000 this year, 62% admitted to overspending during the festive season.

The debt advice charity say the figures are worrying:

"That a quarter of Scots will get into debt this Christmas is very concerning. We don't advocate everyone stopping spending altogether and we all know that circumstances can cause temporary cash shortages, but we want people to think hard about how much credit costs people in Scotland, and how long after the New Year they will be paying for their Christmas festivities."

– John Baird, ScotlandDebt.co.uk

Scots are the most generous at Christmas

Scots are are the most generous Christmas spenders in Britain.

A recent survey by ScotlandDebt.co.uk found that 13% of Scots plan to spend more than £1,000 this Christmas whilst only four per cent of English people and eight per cent of people in Wales are planning to spent the same.

Scotland is also expected to have the highest average spend this festive season at £611.

However the debt advice charity is concerned by the number of people who could be getting themselves into debt to meet the expensive demands of Christmas.

£53m investment to encourage cycling in Scotland

People in Scotland are being encouraged to take up cycling in the new year.

Transport Minister Keith Brown has urged Scots to embrace pedal power in 2013.

The Scottish Government has earmarked £53 million to improve cycle paths in Scotland and make cycling more accessible.

"It has been a fantastic year for cycling in Scotland and the Olympic successes, such as Sir Chris Hoy winning gold in London, led to a huge surge in interest in cycling both for recreation and as a way of getting around.

"I am looking forward to getting on my bike more and to doing all I can in my role as Transport Minister to make this an attractive and viable option for more people throughout Scotland.

"I want to see 2013 remembered as the year that Scotland really embraced pedal power and I would urge everyone to join me in getting out on their bike."

– Keith Brown, Transport Minister for Scotland

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Full Report: Spain says 'No EU' for independent Scotland

Spain's Prime Minister has suggested Scotland would have to apply to join the European Union after a 'Yes' vote in next year's independence referendum.

Mariano Rajoy's intervention prompted heated exchanges at First Minister's questions today as Alex Salmond clashed with Labour leader Johann Lamont.

Watch the full report from our Political Editor Peter MacMahon below.

Politicians clash over future of Scotland in EU

The Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has clashed with Labour leader Johann Lamont today over an independent Scotland's membership of the European Union.

Spain's Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy has suggested that Scotland would have to apply to join the EU after a referendum Yes vote.

His intervention led to heated exchanges at First Minister's Questions at Holyrood this afternoon.

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