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Greens back new help to access council tax support

Fri 3 May, 2019

Scottish Greens are welcoming a new service from Citizens Advice Scotland to help people apply for assistance with paying their Council Tax bills.

The charity has this week launched a new online tool - https://www.checkmycounciltax.scot/- to help people check if they are entitled to reductions, deductions or exemptions.

The number of Scottish households receiving Council Tax Reduction has declined by 78,970 since 2013, prompting concerns that the scheme isn’t well known and that thousands of people could be missing out.

FMQs: Urgent action needed in face of emergency

Thu 2 May, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has today (2 May) called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action in the face of the climate emergency.

Last year climate scientists warned that we have just a decade to deliver the change needed to avoid a climate catastrophe, and today new guidance was issued to the Scottish Government by the Committee on Climate Change, its statutory advisor.

Ms Johnstone asked the First Minister what action the Scottish Government plan to take in the next year given the urgent nature of the emergency.

Greens encourage families to apply for new grant

Mon 29 Apr, 2019

Greens are encouraging all eligible families to apply for a new payment available to some families with nursery-age children, opening for applications today.

Families claiming low-income benefits can apply for the new Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment. This provides a one-off payment of £250 to help families with the cost of children aged two to three-and-half attending early years education.

It is the first entirely new social security payment made by the new devolved social security system.

Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP said:

SNP LOSE VOTE ON GP SHORTAGES

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

The Scottish Government has been defeated in a vote on GP shortages after opposition parties united behind a Scottish Greens motion brought by parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP.

The debate highlighted local issues all over Scotland as a result of challenges recruiting and retaining GPs while demand for services is growing. The opposition parties backed calls from the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners for 11pc of the Health budget to go to GP services.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Greens welcome independence announcement

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP this afternoon welcomed the statement from the First Minister outlining plans for a future independence referendum.

Alison said:

“The Scottish Greens have always believed that Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands, as an independent nation at the heart of Europe. The Brexit shambles has only confirmed our belief that we would be far better governing ourselves. So we welcome the First Minister’s statement today.

Greens bring vote on GP resources

Mon 22 Apr, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP will bring a vote to the Scottish Parliament this week calling for improved resources to tackle the GP retention and recruitment crisis.

The Lothian MSP will highlight that, despite the Scottish Government’s health and social care integration programme encouraging greater demand for services closer to home, GP surgeries are struggling to provide the necessary care our communities require due to a lack of resources.

Choose Hope Over Hate

Alison Johnstone MSP Sat 20 Apr, 2019

European elections are coming up in May and they will be the most important we’ve ever had. They represent a chance for Scotland’s voice to be heard at last, after repeatedly being treated with contempt in the years since the EU referendum.

Scottish Greens have fought tirelessly for Scotland’s remain vote to be respected. These elections are a chance to prove there is in fact growing support for staying in the EU, but not only that, they are also a chance to show that we reject the hateful ideology at the very heart of the Brexit project and oust those MEPs who’ve enabled it.

Freedom of Movement vital to health service

Thu 18 Apr, 2019

It’s vital that Scotland continues to be a welcoming country if our health service is to thrive in the future according to Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader and Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone.

Freedom of Movement has been hugely important to the NHS, with many EU nationals working in this vital public service, yet Brexit threatens to end this entitlement that Scotland has benefited from for many years.

FMQs: Johnstone calls for radical action on child poverty

Thu 28 Mar, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP this afternoon (28 March) said that radical measures to boost the incomes of poorer Scots households are needed, as Scottish Government figures showed a rise in the estimated number of children living in poverty.

At FMQs Ms Johnstone highlighted the new statistics, which show a rise in estimates the number of Scots children living in Relative Child Poverty, measured after Housing Costs, from 230,000 to 240,000. In percentage terms, this is a 1% increase using 1-year figures (23%-24%).

Greens call for Social Security Assessment Improvements after “shocking” appeal statistics released

Thu 14 Mar, 2019

Scottish Greens have criticised the UK Government’s approach to assessing eligibility for disability benefits after the release of figures showing that nearly three quarters of those who appeal a decision have their complaints upheld.

73% of people who lodged appeals against decision made regarding their eligibility for Personal Independence Payment won their appeals. This is a 1% increase on the previous quarter. Across the UK, 15,372 people had their appeals upheld.