Andy Wightman: Market forces that sell out our families

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 20 Jan

Every time I walk along South Bridge in Edinburgh, my eyes are always drawn to a small digital sign that sits unobtrusively outside a hotel advertising that day’s daily tariff. Over time, I’ve come to realise that you can expect to pay anything from £40 per night on a midweek day in winter through to £200 per night to stay within a stone’s throw of most cultural attractions at the height of the Festival in August. Whenever I see this sign I like to think of it as a sort of economic barometer.

We all create the wealth of our economy

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 13 Jan

The debate about economic inequality took a new turn this week, with coverage of the GINI coefficient, which measures how unequal each country is. Despite the widespread feeling that the gap between rich and poor has kept getting wider, new figures for the UK seem to show no significant change over the last decade or so. It’s worth thinking about what these figures mean.

Opposition parties can achieve so much when they refrain from needlessly posturing or being opportunistic

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 6 Jan

There are not many greater examples of why a country needs a principled, effective opposition than that of the feeble Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn at Westminster. The Tories have created so much uncertainty over our future relationship with Europe and Theresa May’s government is going unchallenged as she begins to implement tax cuts for big corporations and fossil fuel giants.

We have to be ready to win our independence

Ross Greer MSP Fri 30 Dec

The question I’ve been asked most often since being elected as an MSP in May has definitely been: “When do you think Scotland will be independent?” While I’m confident it will happen in the not too distant future – and Brexit has certainly brought it much closer - I also know it won’t fall in to our laps.

We can do more for parents of sick and premature babies in Scotland

Alison Johnstone MSP Tue 20 Dec

A sick child is every parent’s worst nightmare at the best of times, but it is usually just a cold or a runny nose and rarely lasts more than a few days. This is not the case for the parents of the 5,800 babies born across Scotland every year who require specialist neonatal care – so small and fragile, fighting for their life in an incubator surrounded by tubes and bleeping monitors that are helping to keep them alive.

If the Finance Secretary wants to avoid a stalemate, he’ll have to give ground

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 16 Dec

For years, pro-independence politicians in Scotland have pointed to economic injustice coming from successive UK Governments, and demanded the power to do something about it. This is something which the SNP and the Greens have long agreed on.

Making a fairer Scotland for disabled people

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 9 Dec

 

This week, I spoke in a debate about a disability delivery plan. The government's “A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People” plan, which lays out an ambitious approach to achieving disability equality, is one that I broadly welcome.

With non-disabled people being almost twice as likely as disabled people to be in work, and given that that figure has barely changed in more than a decade, the Government’s aim to halve the disability employment gap is welcome and could not be more urgently needed.

A truly productive economy must provide prosperity that benefits everyone

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Dec

Amid all the big disagreements in Scottish politics, there are still some areas of common ground. From arch Brexiteers to committed Europeans, from Union flag wavers to those still wearing Yes badges, and from austerity cheerleaders on the Tory benches to left-leaners who passionately believe in a new economic vision for the country; pretty much everyone agrees about one thing. We have a woefully low level of productivity.

Moving classroom support & local democracy up the agenda

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 2 Dec

Tories say they are the “strong opposition”, Labour just want to oppose. Scottish Greens are in Holyrood to do a different sort of job – have bold ideas and get stuff done.

This week was our once-a-year opportunity to choose the topics up for debate. Every child has a right to education. But teachers, parents and young people have been giving us blunt warnings.

The Scottish budget must be a bold, anti-poverty budget

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Nov

Sometimes in politics a simple phrase gets lodged into everyone’s consciousness, framing a debate. This is sometimes deliberate, but it can happen by accident too. As Scotland approaches the first budget in which meaningful tax decisions will be made, one example of this needs to be challenged.

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