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Green pressure for action on animal welfare pays off

Wed 9 Jan, 2019

Scottish Green MSPs say their consistent pressure for action to improve animal welfare prompted today’s (9 Jan) announcements from the Scottish Government on CCTV in abattoirs, stronger penalties for animal cruelty and fresh legislation on fox hunting.

Scottish Greens food and farming spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said:

Boxing Day fox hunts could be the last as Johnstone bill moves closer

Wed 26 Dec, 2018

This Boxing Day, as fox hunts meet around the UK including in Scotland, Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone has pledged to publish a consultation on plans to introduce an effective fox hunting ban and better protect Scotland’s wild mammals.

Boxing Day hunts include the Berwickshire hunt, which meets in Greenlaw - events described as an “annual family ritual” by the Countryside Alliance but which Ms Johnstone says are cruel.

In November Alison observed a hunt in the Borders with investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports.

Ms Johnstone said:

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.