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Fox hunting ban left out of SNP's plans

Wed 4 Sep, 2019

Alison Johnstone’s proposed members bill is now MSPs' best chance to introduce a real ban on foxhunting, after SNP commitments to strengthen the laws did not appear in the programme for government.

A year ago Nicola Sturgeon promised to follow up on the Lord Bonomy review by strengthening the law, and then in January Mairi Gougeon pledged to bring forward a bill “during the course of the current parliamentary session”.

But no such bill appeared in this week’s programme for government.

SNP introduce Greens carers allowance

Tue 3 Sep, 2019

Scottish Greens Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP has welcomed the forthcoming introduction of the Scottish Green policy for a Young Carer Grant announced this afternoon during the First Minister’s Programme for Government.

This afternoon the FM said, “Later this autumn, young carers will start to receive £300 a year through the Young Carer Grant.”

Mountain hares in serious decline

Mon 26 Aug, 2019

The Scottish Government must act now after newly-published data by the EU shows a massive decline in mountain hare populations in Scotland, The Scottish Greens have said.

The figures come from Scottish Natural Heritage’s submission to the EU’s Article 17 report on the protection of habitats and species, and shows the status of the mountain hares has been downgraded to ‘unfavourable’ with a ‘large decline’ recorded since 2013.

Unregulated killing of mountain hares continues in Scotland, including around moors managed for the shooting of grouse.

Greens slam two child limit

Wed 31 Jul, 2019

Greens today branded as "shocking" new statistics that show the extent of impact of child limits to Tax Credits in Scotland.

The new figures show that, at 2 April, more than 8,000 families were hit by the cut. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that families can lose up to £3,000 a year or 10% of average income.

The controversial 'rape clause' which provides an exemption to the limit in cases of consensual conception applies to 50 families in Scotland.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Scottish Greens Social Security Spokesperson, said:

Scottish Green MSPs celebrate 20 years of the ‘Green’ Scottish Parliament

Sat 29 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens are celebrating 20 years of the Scottish Parliament leading the UK on Green issues.

As members of the public visit Holyrood to mark the 20th birthday of the Scottish Parliament, co-leaders of the Greens MSP group Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone will join others in welcoming them.

Government must ensure all entitled receive child payment

Wed 26 Jun, 2019

Scottish Ministers must ensure that all those eligible for the new Scottish Child Payment are able to claim it if it is to fulfil its purpose of seriously tackling child poverty according to Scottish Greens Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP. 

The Lothian MSP highlighted that while take up of the well-established child benefit payment sits at 95%, many of the ‘gateway’ benefits to the new payment are significantly under claimed and asked the Communities Secretary how the government would ensure all those eligible were made aware of the new payment. 

Johnstone launches bill to protect wildlife

Mon 24 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP will today (24 Jun) launch a consultation on her member’s bill to provide legal protections to foxes and hares. 
The consultation, which will run until mid-September, will gather views from people across Scotland and help shape the final bill proposal. 

Food benefit scheme welcome but needs improvement, Greens say

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Green Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today welcomed the introduction of the Best Start Foods scheme but backed concerns that design changes are needed.

The scheme, which replaces the UK Healthy Start Vouchers, provides prepaid cards for pregnant women and parents to purchase healthy food for their children. 

The new policy increases the money available but reduces the upper age limit from 4 to 3. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Government must get on its bike to hit cycling target

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has slammed the Scottish Government for its failure to meet its own cycling target. 

Scottish Ministers set themselves a target that by 2020 10% of everyday journeys will be by bike, but with just six months to go the figure sits at just 2%, with official statistics showing the number of people cycling actually declined last year. 

The Transport Secretary is expected to make a statement to MSPs on this unacceptable performance today, following pressure from the Greens. 

Scottish ministers are failing to deliver on transport

Alison Johnstone MSP Mon 17 Jun, 2019

On Wednesday, the Environment Secretary updated parliament on Scotland’s latest emissions reduction progress. There hasn’t been enough; the target set in law for 2017 has been missed.