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Johnstone responds to figures showing rise in children prescribed antidepressants

17 August, 2017 - 13:23

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health & Children spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (17 Aug) responded to figures showing four times as many children under 13 were prescribed antidepressants last year as just seven years ago.

The figures, obtained by BBC Scotland, show that last year 252 children aged 12 and under were given antidepressants while in 2009/10 it was 57.

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

Survey showing unpaid carers are socially isolated underlines need for greater support

16 August, 2017 - 15:06

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (16 Aug) said a survey showing more than three-quarters of unpaid carers in Scotland feel lonely or socially isolated underlines the need for greater support, such as the Green MSPs' proposal of a Young Carer's Allowance.

Animal welfare standards better in England say Scottish Greens

11 August, 2017 - 12:47

A Green MSP has slammed the Scottish Government’s commitment to animal welfare after the UK government introduced an abattoir policy rejected by Holyrood ministers in June.

No-one should face financial hardship due to the care they need or the care they give

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 14 Jul

“I am worried sick about these charges and am falling into a depression myself.”

Just one of the responses to a consultation on extending free personal care to people under-65 with debilitating conditions such as dementia.

Maureen’s words bring home the reality for far too many people. She says she has been forced to give up work to look after her husband because of the high cost of someone else doing it but says that without wages she can’t afford the upkeep of specialist equipment including a bed, toilet and mobility scooter.

Johnstone criticises UK Gov for pressing ahead with closure of HMRC offices in Bathgate and Livingston

12 July, 2017 - 16:59

Alison Johnstone, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, today (12 July) criticised the UK Government for pressing ahead with plans to close HMRC offices in Bathgate and Livingston, with up to 1,200 workers expected to relocate to Edinburgh.

Alison said:

Johnstone says EIS survey of poverty in education underlines need to tackle root causes

7 July, 2017 - 10:00

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security and Children spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (7 July) said a membership survey by the EIS teaching union into the impact of poverty in education "underlines the need to tackle the root causes."

Johnstone & Wightman urge independent review of governance of Musselburgh Racecourse

5 July, 2017 - 14:05

Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman, the Scottish Green MSPs for Lothian, are adding their weight to calls for an independent review of the governance of Musselburgh Racecourse amid a management crisis that is putting 150 local jobs at risk.

The East Lothian venue, which sits on Common Good land and has hosted horse racing since 1816, is set to lose its licence from the British Horseracing Authority over concerns at the way the business is run.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Johnstone welcomes Scot Gov comment on abortions for women from Northern Ireland

4 July, 2017 - 18:46

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, tonight (4 July) welcomed comments from the Scottish Government that it believes women from Northern Ireland should be able to access an abortion for free in Scotland.

According to a newspaper report, Scottish Ministers will "set out shortly how that can be achieved."

The issue was originally raised by Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie at First Minister's Questions last November, with Alison Johnstone writing to the public health minister seeking an update three weeks ago.

Johnstone urges Scot Gov to act on young people poverty report

3 July, 2017 - 13:18

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (3 July) urged the Scottish Government to act on the recommendations of its independent advisor on poverty, whose new report describes the gap between rich and poor young people as "deeply worrying", a "fundamental unfairness" and a "significant waste of talent and opportunity".

Naomi Eisenstadt's recommendations include:

Welfare cuts report shows why we must do things differently

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 30 Jun

This week's Scottish Government report, highlighted by Patrick Harvie at First Minister's Questions, on the impact of UK welfare reforms makes for very sobering reading. It shows that a very large number of reforms – including, but not limited to the freeze on the value of benefits; the two-child limit on Child Tax Credits; the Benefit Cap; the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance for most claimants, and the Bedroom Tax – are removing thousands of pounds from Scottish households, many of them containing our very poorest and most vulnerable people.