Get the latest from Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone

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Johnstone wins action on hated benefits assessments

Thu 22 Feb, 2018

Scottish Greens today successfully pushed for a duty to be placed on government to consider existing evidence before ordering additional assessments for devolved social security benefits.

Assessments for the controversial Personal Independence Payment, which thousands of Scots have been called for, can be stressful and humiliating and in many cases not necessary because there is sufficient existing medical and other evidence.


Alison Johnstone MSP Tue 6 Feb, 2018

As MSPs today joined those marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which first gave some women the right to vote in UK elections, Alison Johnstone, co-founder of the Women 50:50 campaign that aims for gender balance in Scottish elected office, spoke for the Greens in the ‘Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Right to Vote’ debate.

The full text of Alison's speech is included below.


Social Security Bill strengthened with Green amendment

Thu 1 Feb, 2018

Scotland’s Social Security Bill will now be enshrined with a commitment to reducing poverty after a Green MSP’s amendment was passed by a committee.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says the commitment to reducing poverty means that Scotland will now be better committed to people in need, taking a different approach from the UK government.

Johnstone, the social security spokesperson for the Greens, said:

Johnstone to amend Social Security Bill to reflect cost of living

Mon 29 Jan, 2018

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 Jan) confirmed that she will attempt to amend the Scottish Government's proposed Social Security Bill to ensure that devolved benefits rise with the cost of living.
Alison's "annual uprating of assistance" amendment will be considered by the Social Security Committee on Thursday 1 February, and the Green MSP is urging members from other parties to support the change.
Alison said:

Johnstone: Scorecard from Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health shows urgent action required

Tue 23 Jan, 2018

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said today's (23 Jan) "scorecard" from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on the state of child health in Scotland shows urgent action in required from government to tackle obesity, poverty and poor mental health.

Alison said:

With a real fox-hunting ban we can demonstrate that Scotland really does care about the welfare of animals

Alison Johnstone MSP Mon 22 Jan, 2018

Foxes are being hunted by dogs in Scotland and it’s clear that existing laws are unable to stop it. 

I’ve seen the sickening evidence. Investigators for the League Against Cruel sports have filmed harrowing footage showing that mounted hunts are still using hounds to run down and tear apart foxes in the same way they did when the Scottish Parliament passed laws intended to ban hunting with dogs in 2002.

Johnstone lodges amendments to Social Security Bill to ensure everyone receives the payments they are due 

Mon 22 Jan, 2018

Green MSP Alison Johnstone has lodged a series of amendments to the Scottish Government's Social Security Bill which are designed to ensure that everyone receives the payments they are due. 

Our polluted air costs us both personally and as a society

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 19 Jan, 2018

Air pollution is a true invisible killer. We take the air around us for granted, but just as fish depend on clean water, clean air is obviously vital for our health and the health of our wider environment. 

Back in the 1950s, smog was all too visible, and the deaths from it were front page news. The notorious Great Smog of London, even though it lasted just five days, is now believed to have killed as many as 12,000 people, and it led to the 1956 Clean Air Act.

Johnstone tells Primary Care conference of need to support GP practices in areas of high deprivation

Wed 17 Jan, 2018

Addressing the Priorities for Primary Care in Scotland conference today (17 Jan), Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, will call for further support for practices in areas of high deprivation.

Changes introduced by the Scottish Government recognise that the existing model leaves some practices unfairly exposed to financial risks, and fails to tackle health inequalities, but Greens argue the proposed changes may not go far enough.

Rising inflation shows need for Scot Gov to increase devolved benefits to meet cost of living

Tue 19 Dec, 2017

Ahead of today’s (Tue 19 Dec) Stage One vote at Holyrood on the Social Security Bill, Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said rising inflation shows the need for the UK Government to scrap the benefits freeze and for the Scottish Government to ensure new devolved benefits increase with the cost of living.

Alison pressed the issue of uprating devolved benefits at least in line with inflation during committee scrutiny of the Social Security Bill.