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Child Poverty Bill: Greens Urge Focus On Boosting Incomes

10 February, 2017 - 17:38

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (10 Feb) welcomed publication of the Scottish Government's Child Poverty Bill and urged Ministers to focus on boosting families' incomes. 

The Bill proposes a target that by 2030 fewer than 10 per cent of Scottish children are living in relative poverty. At the moment, in some parts of Scotland, a third of children live in relative poverty.

In recent months, the Green MSPs have secured a number of anti-poverty measures from the Scottish Government, including:

We must invest in a better future for Scots seeking work

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 10 Feb

The devolution of some aspects of the social security system is proving to be a huge opportunity for Scotland to show that a fairer society is possible. The package of powers devolved in the wake of the independence referendum was limited but even so, we can use these powers in creative ways to prove that we are a caring nation.

Drop in performance at A&E lies squarely with the Health Secretary

7 February, 2017 - 14:01

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (7 Feb) urged Scottish Ministers to focus on staffing after figures showed a further drop in the number of patients being seen within 4 hours of arriving at hospital emergency departments.

The Scottish Government target is that 95 per cent of patients are seen within four hours. Today's figures show that in December only 92.6 per cent were seen within that time, the latest month-on-month fall from a peak of 95.8 in July.

Green MSPs have achieved more in a single budget than the Labour Party has in a decade of opposition

2 February, 2017 - 14:43

"Green MSPs have achieved more in a single budget than the Labour Party has in a decade of opposition," according to Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie, who this afternoon welcomed details of the Scottish Government's offer to increase funding to local councils by £160million.

Edinburgh Airport consultation "pointless" given strong opposition to expansion

30 January, 2017 - 15:16

Scottish Green MSPs say the launch of a further wave of consultation by Edinburgh Airport is "pointless" given the strong public opposition to expansion plans.

Green MSPs Alison Johnstone, Andy Wightman and Mark Ruskell have been contacted by concerned residents across Lothian region and Fife, as changes to flight routes would negatively affect many communities.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

Job centre closures are wrong-headed

26 January, 2017 - 17:11

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Jan) branded plans by the UK Government to close a raft of job centres and offices as wrong-headed.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to close seven job centres and eight administration sites, on top of plans announced last month to close eight job centres in Glasgow, a move that the city's Green MSP Patrick Harvie has been campaigning against.

We need a transformation in how Government approaches child health

25 January, 2017 - 16:51

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Jan) urged Scottish Ministers to act on the recommendations of a major report which concludes that 400 Scottish child deaths each year are potentially avoidable.

The State of Child Health report by the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health says the Scottish Government should adopt a ‘child health in all policies’ approach to decision making.

Scottish Government failing to futureproof the nursing workforce

25 January, 2017 - 16:48

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (25 Jan) highlighted comments from the Royal College of Nursing, who said that "the Scottish Government is failing to futureproof the nursing workforce."

Intake figures show there will be 142 extra student nurses across Scotland in 2017/18. 

Alison said:

"Nurses in Scotland are under severe strain. There are pressing workforce shortages and we know that most nurses in Scotland are aged 45 or older so we need to prepare for future retirement rates.  

Ministers must scrap consultation on raising the bus pass age

24 January, 2017 - 16:53

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (24 January) used Topical Questions at Holyrood to challenge Scottish Ministers to scrap a proposed consultation on raising the age at which people qualify for a free bus pass.

Free bus passes for the over-60s and disabled cost about £200 million a year and today Transport Minister Humza Yousaf refused to back down on plans to question the age of eligibility.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

Investment in teachers and graduates in nurseries is a step in the right direction

18 January, 2017 - 13:48

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (18 Jan) urged Scottish Ministers to prioritise the Living Wage for nursery staff in light of today's announcement by the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon has promised £1.5million to recruit more teachers and graduates for nurseries in deprived areas.

Alison Johnstone, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said: