Adoption of our policy on young carers is welcome

Scottish Green MSPs today welcomed the announcement by the First Minister that the Green manifesto proposal for a young carer's grant will be explored by the Scottish Government.

Responding to the FM's statement to Parliament ahead of a two-day debate called "Taking Scotland Forward", Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"In this session of Parliament all parties will need a positive agenda to have influence on a minority government. Simply making demands or trying to block action will not work. 

"The Green approach will continue to be constructive and challenging. Our track record in previous sessions shows that this approach gets results. And there are clear areas where we can find common ground with ministers, for example on carers, childcare and support for children and new parents.

"During the election campaign the Scottish Greens emphasised the need to value the role of carers in our society. We proposed using new devolved powers over the Carer’s Allowance to increase payments by 50 per cent to £93 a week. It's good to see the First Minister at least committing to increasing the allowance and Greens will continue to advocate a meaningful increase. The adoption of our policy on young carers and student carers in need of financial support is very welcome and we look forward to that idea coming to fruition."

On areas where the Scottish Government needs to go further, Mr Harvie added:

"There remain areas where Scottish Ministers will need to reach out and compromise to find a way forward. Air Passenger Duty is one example, where the government's policy does not pass tests of fairness or sustainability. 

"On climate change and energy issues, fracking continues to cause concern for communities across the Central Belt. Greens will continue to argue for the temporary moratorium to become a permanent ban. And while the increased targets for reducing climate change emissions are welcome this must come with the policy transformation needed to compensate for four years of failed targets. The commitment to a Warm Homes Bill must be accompanied by substantial investment, which to date we have not seen.

"The First Minister spoke of doing everything to support oil and gas; Green MSPs will continue to push for investment in a managed transition to low carbon industries to provide lasting jobs.

"Finally, the commitment to encourage participatory budgeting at local authority level - something Greens have long championed - is welcome but we must acknowledge the continued unfairness of the council tax. Fairer funding of public services, using both property and income taxes, must be revisited in this session of Parliament."