GPs, nurses & pharmacists must have resources to prevent a crisis

Alison Johnstone MSP 23 Sep 2016 - 1:44pm

The decision of the UK government to impose a contract on junior doctors in England has led to an ongoing employment battle that shows no signs of ending soon. In Scotland the symptoms of our own GP crisis are developing.

Council Tax Proposals Breach International Law

Andy Wightman MSP 18 Sep 2016 - 9:27pm

The Scottish Government has published plans to change the amounts of Council Tax paid by the occupiers of houses in Bands E,F, G and H and the Local Government and Communities Committee is seeking evidence on the reforms (you can read the evidence here).

My journey from No to Yes

Claire Miller 18 Sep 2016 - 12:37am

People take me for Scottish because of my Borders accent, my cultural norms, and my peely-wally skin. But as with most folk, my nationality is more complex than meets the eye. My family are all from England and I was born in the north west of England, but I was raised in Scotland and don’t remember living anywhere else. 

Growing up a Borders lass, I was used to going back and forth from Berwickshire (in Scotland) to Berwick (in England), and I feel really strongly that emphasising the line between two countries does more to divide than unite them. 

Harvie: "The case for Scotland retaining its relationship with the EU inevitably changes the case for independence"

Patrick Harvie 16 Sep 2016 - 12:17pm

Readers of the National are unlikely to need a reminder that Sunday marks the second anniversary of Scotland’s independence referendum (perhaps to be known in future as Scotland’s first independence referendum).

Let's lock tax dodgers out from all forms of public support

Patrick Harvie 9 Sep 2016 - 10:47am

Tax avoidance is nothing new. For as long as there have been taxes levied, there have always been people willing to jump through every loophole they can find to avoid paying their fair share. It’s unlikely that any tax system will ever be perfect, and the problem has grown as the financial and business environment has become ever more complex.

Timid Council Tax proposals won't give communities the autonomy they deserve

Andy Wightman MSP 6 Sep 2016 - 11:24am

As Edinburgh recovers from the hectic few weeks of the Festival and the posters and other paraphernalia that have adorned the streets over the past month are removed, it is worth reflecting on how the city copes with a festival that is as big as the World Cup.

Benefit top-up powers present chance for Scotland to chart a fairer course

Alison Johnstone MSP 5 Sep 2016 - 4:29pm

Today, September 5th, marks an important phase in the development of devolution. Under powers devolved today, Holyrood will be able to create entirely new benefits and also to top-up the value of benefits that are reserved, such as Jobseeker's Allowance.

This more balanced Parliament can unlock creativity that’s needed

Patrick Harvie 2 Sep 2016 - 9:31am

So that was summer. Just a few typical “silly season” stories this year… the UK vote to quit the EU, the renewed prospect of Scotland reconsidering independence, the Chilcot report, a sudden bout of Tory backstabbing before a new Prime Minister took office, economic turmoil, ever-more urgent climate warning signs, open civil war in the Labour Party with the prospect of splits to come, devastating acts of violence in Europe and the middle east, and of course continuation of the bewildering delusional nonsense from the Cult of Trump.

Let’s make progress toward the stronger, diversified economy we need

Patrick Harvie 26 Aug 2016 - 10:31am

The phoney war that is the annual GERS debate has broken out again. It’s all too predictable, but with Scotland’s public finances under scrutiny I make no apology for once again challenging the dominant assumptions about oil and gas. In 2014 the Green Yes campaign published figures showing that the multinationals operating in the North Sea were receiving around £1 billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – despite making huge profits.

To stop the first Scottish sanctions, all that’s needed is political will

Alison Johnstone MSP 25 Aug 2016 - 2:33pm

Amid the uncertainty of Brexit, there’s a hard reality approaching from Scotland’s independence referendum. In April next year Scotland will take charge of the UK Government’s Work Programme and Work Choice schemes. The Work Programme in particular has a poor record of helping people into employment. We have a chance to do things differently.

Currently, benefit recipients can be referred to the Work Programme on a mandatory basis, and sanctions applied if they refuse to take part, or are deemed not to be properly engaging with it.

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