Scotland would need to cut public spending, increase taxes, or both if it was to survive independence.
A new study from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that failing North Sea oil revenues and an ageing population would create tough economic choices for the independent nation.
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The GMB union is holding final talks with Sellafield Limited this week, in an attempt to avoid a planned strike by firefighters.
A petition calling on the council to scrap plans for an extra lane on main route through Carlisle, has been signed by more than 1000 people.
A multi-million pound scheme to protect Dumfries from flooding looks set to go to a public inquiry.