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Scotland can chart a new course with social security powers

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 15 Feb, 2019

One of my proudest moments as an MSP was playing a role in the establishment of the new Scottish social security system. Passed last year, the Social Security (Scotland) Act is a major step towards a fairer, more humane social security system than the UK system run by the UK Department for Work and Pensions whose punitive approach towards those who need help from the social security system has been well-documented.

Johnstone wins on Health and Care Staffing amendments

Tue 29 Jan, 2019

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today (29 Jan) won support for her amendments to the government's Health and Care Staffing Bill.

Alison's amendments give senior charge nurses time to fulfil their clinical leadership role, give staff time for continuing professional development, and place a duty on Scottish Ministers to ensure enough student places to support the workforce.

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.