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Closure of children's ward at St John's is extremely concerning, says Johnstone

23 June, 2017 - 13:57

Responding to NHS Lothian's decision to close the children's ward at St John's Hospital in Livingston to in-patients from 7 July, Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

Greens make case to strengthen Child Poverty Bill

22 June, 2017 - 15:24

The Scottish Greens have bolstered the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill by successfully including provision requiring the Scottish Government to indicate if it will use new powers to boost the incomes of some of Scotland’s poorest families, including by topping-up- Child Benefit.

Opposition parties joined with the Greens in supporting Alison Johnstone’s amendment at the Stage 2 debate during a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s social security committee.

Johnstone: Use devolved powers to provide financial support for thousands of young carers who currently miss out

19 June, 2017 - 10:30

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (19 June) called on Scottish Ministers to use new devolved powers to provide financial support for thousands of young carers who currently miss out.

Holyrood now has the power to begin to build a fairer system of helping disabled people

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 9 Jun

Brexit and independence dominated the General Election campaign. Brexit deservedly so as it poses a huge risk to our social and environmental protections, our economy and public services, while the independence obsession of the pro-UK parties diverted attention from the Tories’ track record in office.
 
In particular, I’m disappointed there wasn’t more scrutiny of Westminster’s welfare reforms which have had a hugely negative impact on disabled people.
 

Johnstone concerned at rise in NHS vacancies

6 June, 2017 - 11:49

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 June) expressed concern at a rise in NHS vacancies as figures show an increase in staff sickness and spending on agency workers.

New figures show that in March this year 7.4 per cent of consultant posts were vacant, a rise from 6.5 per cent in March last year. Of the 415.7 whole-time equivalent (WTE) vacancies, 204.3 were vacant for more than six months, an increase of 38.2 since last year.

Greens enter final campaign week with fairness pledge

2 June, 2017 - 11:35

Greens will go to Westminster with a pledge to stand up for everyone’s “right to live with dignity”, Alison Johnstone MSP has said as she outlined her party’s policies on fairness while visiting Glasgow today.

Speaking at Glasgow West Carers Centre, Johnstone gave her backing to Patrick Harvie, who is standing in neighbouring Glasgow North, and said that by electing Scotland’s first Green MP, voters will get a local champion who will speak up and represent those who “continue to be ignored by Westminster”.

Johnstone to bring amendments to Child Poverty Bill to boost incomes

1 June, 2017 - 16:18

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (1 June) confirmed that she plans to bring amendments to the Scottish Government's Child Poverty Bill to ensure that full use is made of Holyrood's new social security powers.
 
Speaking in this afternoon's debate on Stage One of the Bill, Alison said:
 
"The latest Child Poverty statistics reveal a four per cent rise in Relative Child Poverty in just one year.  That is a rise of 40,000 children, to 260,000.
 

Johnstone uses FMQs to raise concerns about safe cycling infrastructure following fatal accident

1 June, 2017 - 13:48

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, today (1 June) used First Minister's Questions to raise concerns about safe cycling infrastructure following yesterday's fatal accident in Edinburgh in which a twenty-four year old woman came off her bike on tram tracks and was hit by a minibus.

Cycling campaigners have claimed that the number of accidents on tram tracks in the Capital is higher than in other UK cities.

Alison Johnstone, co-convener of Holyrood's cross-party group on cycling, said:

Johnstone urges UK Gov to reconsider cap on Child Tax Credits for more than two children

25 May, 2017 - 13:33

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (25 May) urged the UK Government to urgently reconsider its cap on Child Tax Credits for more than two children.
 
At today's meeting of Holyrood's Social Security Committee, Alison asked John Dickie of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) about the way that the UK Government's reforms have broken the link with a system that was originally based on need.
 

Johnstone urges Scot Gov to heed report by Social Security Committee on Child Poverty Bill

22 May, 2017 - 13:20

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 May) urged the Scottish Government to heed a report by Holyrood's Social Security Committee on the proposed Child Poverty Bill.

The report recommends that the Bill should include a challenging target to address persistent poverty, and interim targets for "greater immediacy".

The Committee, of which Alison Johnstone is a member, also recommends making full use of Scottish social security powers and providing advice to parents and carers to boost their incomes.