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Johnstone criticises UK Gov for extending Universal Credit to Edinburgh with problems still not resolved

Tue 27 Nov, 2018

Scottish Greens have criticised the UK Government for extending the Universal Credit roll-out in Edinburgh when problems with the new system still have not yet been resolved.

The Universal Credit ‘Full Service’ will be available to new applicants and current recipients whose circumstances change from tomorrow (28th November).

Given the current 5-week wait, new applicants will not be paid any support until after Christmas. Any advances requested must be paid back from future payments.

UN report on Extreme Poverty must serve as a wake-up call to UK government

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 23 Nov, 2018

We already know that Universal Credit is leaving families with just pennies a week.

Families trapped in unsuitable temporary accommodation for months on end because their income no longer covers their rent; disabled people who can no longer get to work, because reforms to disability benefits means they no longer can access a motability vehicle.

Time to fast-track action on social care staffing with further rise in patients stuck in hospital

Tue 6 Nov, 2018

Scottish Ministers are being urged by the Scottish Greens to “fast-track action” on social care staffing, as new figures show a further rise in patients stuck in hospital - the vast majority of them waiting for social care. 

In September this year, 45,470 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed, up from 43,913 days in August and up from 42,110 days in September last year.

UK Gov cuts to benefits target women and children, and must be reversed, says Johnstone

Tue 6 Nov, 2018

The UK Government's cuts to benefits target women and children, and must be reversed, according to Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Speaking in this afternoon's Holyrood debate - Impact of UK Government Welfare Cuts and Universal Credit on Poverty - Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

UK & Scot Gov must act on appalling increase in crisis grants to prevent hunger & homelessness

Tue 30 Oct, 2018

The Scottish Greens today urged by the UK and Scottish Governments to act on “appalling” figures showing a big increase in people applying for crisis grants to prevent them from going hungry or having nowhere to sleep.

“Ending Austerity” debate at Holyrood a missed opportunity

Wed 24 Oct, 2018

Today’s “Ending Austerity” debate at Holyrood is a missed opportunity, according to Scottish Greens Social Security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Labour’s motion offers no solutions to austerity, while the SNP and Tory amendments attempt to delete the responsibilities of the Scottish and UK Governments.

Empowering communities and delivering food security

Alison Johnstone MSP Tue 16 Oct, 2018

I previously wrote in the Evening News (Food for thought and a little thought for food) in support of calls from the Scottish Food Coalition for a right to food to be enshrined in Scots Law, to address our dependency on foodbanks to provide for people in our wealthy, food-producing nation.

Peregrine falcon found dead in the Pentland Hills

Tue 9 Oct, 2018

The Raptor Persecution UK blog has revealed that a peregrine falcon was found dead in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh earlier this year.

I am deeply saddened that yet another bird of prey has been illegally killed in the Pentland hills, just a few miles from the city of Edinburgh. Scotland’s birds of prey are supposedly protected, yet persecution is rife and rarely met with justice.

We must tackle poverty, and tackle it at source

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 5 Oct, 2018

An MSP’s year has some very regular milestones. The Programme for Government every September; the process of negotiating the annual budget either side of Christmas, and the recess periods when MSPs finish their work in the chamber and in committees, but which offer us more time to get out and about visiting constituents and organisations in the areas we represent.

New NHS research echoes our calls to boost social security spending & introduce Basic Income

Wed 3 Oct, 2018

The Scottish Greens welcomed research published today by NHS Health Scotland that echoes the party's calls to boost social security spending and introduce a Universal Basic Income.

The "Income-based policies in Scotland: how would they affect health and health inequalities?" research modelled the effects of a wide range of income-based policies on health and health inequalities.