Scotland trending: Today’s most talked-about stories

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Picture: AP
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Picture: AP
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TODAY’S top stories on social media from Scotland and beyond, including the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and why Outlander is too intense for British TV

Autumn Statement: George Osborne scraps tax credit cuts

George Osborne has revealed that planned cuts of £4.4 billion to tax credits will be scrapped. Announcing the Spending Review in the House of Commons today, the Chancellor said that he could abandon the cuts due to “improvements in public finances.”

“I’ve had representations that these changes to tax credits should be phased in. I’ve listened to the concerns. I hear and understand them,” the Chancellor said.

Mr Osborne added that Scotland would have been subject to “catastrophic cuts” in public spending if there had been a successful outcome for the SNP in last year’s independence referendum, due to massive drop in oil revenue forecast.

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/business/markets-economy/autumn-statement-osborne-scraps-tax-credit-cuts-1-3958023

Outlander ‘too intense’ for British TV

American author Diana Gabaldon has told The Scotsman that she believes the hit series based on her books may be “too extreme” to ever be shown on mainstream television in the UK.

“I would love for people to be able to see it on mainstream television. People have been asking me about it for a long time,” she said. “What I’ve heard from various sources is that it wasn’t that they couldn’t find a channel that wanted to show it, but that they couldn’t find a channel that would show it either uncut or at its normal running length.”

Often referred to as ‘Scotland’s answer to Game of Thrones,’ the historical time travel series regularly features graphic scenes of sexual and violent nature.

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/books/outlander-show-too-intense-for-british-tv-1-3957671

HRMC cuts means £34bn in lost taxes warn SNP

Closures of 137 UK tax offices will lead to 2,500 lost jobs in Scotland, prompting fears this will undermine efforts to reduce the amount of uncollected tax, the SNP has said.

Hannah Bardell, the party business spokeswoman, has suggested that the UK’s tax gap could be bridged by small to medium sized businesses receiving more comprehensive guidance on their tax affairs.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises account for the largest proportion of the overall tax gap, some £16.5bn, followed by large businesses with some £9.5bn,” Ms Bardell said yesterday.

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/hmrc-cuts-mean-34bn-in-lost-taxes-warns-snp-1-3957735

New £178bn war on terror unveiled by David Cameron

A £178bn plan to increase the UK’s military strength has been revealed by David Cameron.

A new generation of “submarine-hunting” aircraft, to be based in Scotland, and up to 10,000 military personnel available to take to the streets in response to a large scale terrorist attack has been proposed.

The Prime Minister said of the plans: “Isil is not some remote problem thousands of miles away. It is a direct threat... the world is more dangerous and uncertain today than even five years ago.”

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/news/new-178bn-war-on-terror-unveiled-by-david-cameron-1-3956685

Beavers being shot in Tayside

More than 20 Bavarian beavers have been shot and killed in Tayside after they built dams on farmers land.

The German creatures have been thriving since escaping captivity and it’s estimated that around 150 are now living in the wild in Tayside.

It has been revealed that the bodies of 21 beavers have been discovered with gunshot wounds since the end of 2012 in Tayside.

Currently, beavers have no legal protection in the UK and a license is not required to shoot them. It is, however, illegal to possess and move a dead beaver without having a license.

Farmers have reacted with fury at the damage caused by the beavers building dams on their land.

Read more: http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/farmers-shooting-invading-tayside-beavers-1-3958204