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By injecting humanity into the new Scottish social security system, we can bring the giant of poverty down to size

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 10 Aug, 2018

Three-quarters of a century ago, the economist and social reformer William Beveridge identified five issues that needed to be tackled to make a better Britain. He declared that there were five giant evils on the road to reconstruction: poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. To defeat these giants, he proposed setting up a welfare state with social security, a national health service, free education, council housing and full employment.
 

Thousands of Scots could be spared from hated benefits assessment as a result of Scottish Green changes to social security law

Fri 10 Aug, 2018

Thousands of Scots could be spared from hated benefits assessment as a result of Scottish Green changes to social security law, Greens have claimed today (10 Aug).
 
A Freedom of Information request to the Department for Work and Pensions shows that the introduction of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has led to an explosion in the number of unnecessary face-to-face assessments.

Ministers turning blind eye to wildlife mass slaughter as open season on mountain hares begins

Wed 1 Aug, 2018

Scottish Ministers are being accused by a Green MSP of turning a blind eye to the mass slaughter of important wildlife with today (1 Aug) marking the start of the open season on mountain hares, when landowners can shoot as many as they like until February.

Mountain hare shooting is an activity offered by Scottish game estates, and it is estimated that 26,000 are killed on average each year. This is up to 14 per cent of the population, despite the species being classified as a priority in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Tackling housing, diet & low incomes crucial to ease strain on 70-year-old NHS

Thu 5 Jul, 2018

Fixing the problems of damp, cold housing, poor diet and low incomes are crucial if Scotland is to ease the strain on the 70-year-old National Health Service, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Marking today's anniversary of the creation of the NHS, Alison said:

"There is much that we can learn from the history of our health service. If we want to ensure that every generation looks forward to better health than the last, we have to renew the sense of collective care and ambition that was central to the NHS's founding 70 years ago.

Plan to tackle obesity crisis unlikely to succeed unless ministers toughen up approach to big business

Mon 2 Jul, 2018

The latest government plan to tackle Scotland's obesity crisis is unlikely to succeed unless ministers toughen up their approach to profit-driven big food businesses and retailers, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Today's 37-page "Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan" has the aim of halving childhood obesity by 2030. 

Measures include:

Those who live, work, train in, or coach in Meadowbank must be listened to

Alison Johnstone MSP Thu 28 Jun, 2018

Tomorrow, Friday 29th June, Edinburgh’s Development Management Committee will consider a proposal which will determine the future of Meadowbank Stadium.

Incredibly, it’s taken over a decade to get to this point.

Johnstone says suicide statistics show need for new mental health minister to prioritise prevention plan

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said suicide statistics published today (27 June) showed the need for the new mental health minister to prioritise a prevention plan promised by the previous minister.

Figures show there were 680 probable suicides in Scotland in 2017, down from 728 in 2016. 

New Cabinet must take bolder action to make Scotland fairer & greener

Tue 26 Jun, 2018

Scottish Green MSPs are urging Nicola Sturgeon's new Cabinet to take bolder action on making Scotland fairer and greener.

Today's reshuffle means Health Secretary Shona Robison is to be replaced by Social Security minister Jeane Freeman.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health and Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“The role of Health Secretary is clearly one of the most challenging in Government.  Shona Robison has shown serious commitment and I wish her well for the future. 

Johnstone says boosting NHS workers’ pay is vital, as Scot Gov offers nine per cent over three years 

Mon 25 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP says boosting NHS workers’ pay is vital, as the Scottish Government offers nurses, midwives and paramedics a nine per cent rise over the next three years. 

The proposals would benefit 147,000 staff under the Agenda for Change pay system.

Alison Johnstone, health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

Designing fairer devolved replacement for PIP is urgent in light of MS Society report

Tue 19 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens Social Security spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP has called on the Scottish Government to pay urgent attention to a new report from the MS Society which highlights the negative impact of disability welfare reforms on people with Multiple Sclerosis.

The report, published today, shows that 33% of people with MS transferred from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) lost support, with 10% losing entitlement entirely.