Free bus travel for people seeking asylum announced by Scottish Greens
The Scottish Greens have secured £2m of government funding to enable the roll-out of free bus travel to asylum seekers in Scotland.
The party were behind Scotland’s landmark free greener bus travel for U22s which has already proved hugely popular and life-changing for young people.
They have been campaigning for similar arrangements to be introduced specifically to support all asylum seekers.
That has now been agreed thanks to the party’s cooperation deal in government and was announced by co-leader Patrick Harvie in his address to his party’s annual conference.
The plan was warmly welcomed by Scottish Greens transport spokesperson Mark Ruskell.
“It is our responsibility as a country to do all we can to help protect those who seek safety. People in the asylum system are being forced into extreme poverty, they are unable to work and in many cases are living on less than £2 a day. The least we can do is to provide some dignity so their basic needs are supported.
“A pilot programme in Glasgow saw participants describe the free bus pass as being a ‘lifesaver’, reconnecting families and friends and ensuring those without can still get to where they need to be for work, appointments and more.
“Of all the many things we as Scottish Greens have achieved at this halfway point in our cooperation deal within government, this is one of the most necessary and compassionate. It’s come on the back of strong crossparty work in parliament that has raised the voice of one of the most marginalised groups in our society.”
With the budget announcement today, the plan will now move further into detailed development, including with the UK Home Office reflecting that asylum and immigration are matters reserved to Westminster.