Wed 26 Nov, 2014

The Scottish Greens have welcomed many of the new and progressive measures presented by the First Minister in her Programme for Government today.

 

Legislation and action on land reform, childcare, in-work poverty, access to education, public health, gender equality, human trafficking, domestic abuse and votes at 16 are among the most positive of the Government's proposals.

 

However, they highlighted areas such as energy efficiency, housing and transport where action has been promised but were absent from the statement.

 

Green MSPs have been calling for urgent action to reform or replace the unfair council tax. They welcome the announcement of a new Commission, but urge it to reach consensus as quickly as possible.

 

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian said:

 

"Greens find much in this programme that is progressive and positive, but much-needed action to improve energy efficiency in housing and make renting better is notably absent.

 

"We will work hard to get the boldest possible measures on land reform and community empowerment to bring fairer access to our country's assets. We have campaigned for an end to the unfair council tax, and welcome the opportunity to work with other parties to find a new deal for local government.

 

"Action to widen access to education and increasing childcare will be vital to building the fairer economy that Scotland deserves, while getting more employers paying the living wage must be part of a bigger package of challenging low pay.

 

"I applaud the First Minister for challenging the public sector on gender equality, but now she must also challenge the Scottish Parliament itself and back the Women 50:50 campaign."

 

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