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Empowering communities and delivering food security

Alison Johnstone MSP Tue 16 Oct, 2018

I previously wrote in the Evening News (Food for thought and a little thought for food) in support of calls from the Scottish Food Coalition for a right to food to be enshrined in Scots Law, to address our dependency on foodbanks to provide for people in our wealthy, food-producing nation.

Peregrine falcon found dead in the Pentland Hills

Tue 9 Oct, 2018

The Raptor Persecution UK blog has revealed that a peregrine falcon was found dead in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh earlier this year.

I am deeply saddened that yet another bird of prey has been illegally killed in the Pentland hills, just a few miles from the city of Edinburgh. Scotland’s birds of prey are supposedly protected, yet persecution is rife and rarely met with justice.

We must tackle poverty, and tackle it at source

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 5 Oct, 2018

An MSP’s year has some very regular milestones. The Programme for Government every September; the process of negotiating the annual budget either side of Christmas, and the recess periods when MSPs finish their work in the chamber and in committees, but which offer us more time to get out and about visiting constituents and organisations in the areas we represent.

New NHS research echoes our calls to boost social security spending & introduce Basic Income

Wed 3 Oct, 2018

The Scottish Greens welcomed research published today by NHS Health Scotland that echoes the party's calls to boost social security spending and introduce a Universal Basic Income.

The "Income-based policies in Scotland: how would they affect health and health inequalities?" research modelled the effects of a wide range of income-based policies on health and health inequalities.

Johnstone & Wightman welcome ruling which saves Jim's Farm

Wed 3 Oct, 2018

Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSPs for Lothian, today (3 Oct) welcomed a ruling which prevents a farmer being removed from his Midlothian home so landlords can sell the site to developers proposing a film studio.

Alison and Andy have campaigned in support of Jim Telfer who faced eviction from smallholdings at Damhead where Scottish Ministers controversially gave planning approval for a film studio in December last year.

Now the Scottish Land Court has found that the landlord has no lawful grounds to resume Mr Telfer’s tenancy.

Ministers must speed up action on social care staffing given rise in patients stuck in hospital

Tue 2 Oct, 2018

The Scottish Greens are calling for Scottish Ministers to “speed up action” on social care staffing, as new figures show a rise in patients stuck in hospital - the vast majority of them waiting for social care.

In August this year, 43,913 days were spent in hospital by people whose discharge was delayed - an increase of five per cent compared with August last year. 75 per cent were delayed due to lack of social care provision.

Tackle child poverty by making childcare flexible & affordable & by uprating devolved benefits in line with inflation

Tue 2 Oct, 2018

We're backing calls by social researchers for the Scottish Government to tackle child poverty by making childcare more flexible and affordable, and by uprating devolved benefits in line with inflation.

Johnstone hits out at Scottish Ministers over lack of urgency on children's services at St John's

Thu 27 Sep, 2018

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, today hit out at Scottish Ministers for a "complete lack of urgency" over long-running staffing issues that have reduced children's services at St John's hospital in Livingston.

Responding to a statement in Parliament by the Health Secretary, Alison said:

Green proposals will be at the core of Scotland's social security system

Wed 26 Sep, 2018

Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone today (26 Sep) welcomed a new approach to assessments for disability benefits under Scotland's devolved social security system.

Earlier this year, Alison successfully amended the Social Security Bill to do away with assessments of people’s health or disability in order to claim for a devolved benefit, unless the information cannot be obtained through any other means.

Today the new Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville confirmed that this principle will be at the core of the new system.

Food insecurity must prompt SNP Ministers to think again about top-up of Child Benefit

Tue 25 Sep, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP is calling on SNP Ministers to rethink their refusal to top-up Child Benefit and to fully mitigate the Benefit Cap after new research showed almost one-in-ten Scots are worried about running out of food due to lack of money.

For the first time the Scottish Health Survey has asked people about food insecurity.

Lack of money meant 8% of adults worried about running out of food, 7% ate less than they should, and 4% did run out of food.