Thu 14 Dec, 2017

Today's statement will demonstrate whether the Scottish Government is serious about protecting the schools, social care and community facilities we all rely on. Patrick Harvie MSP

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-Convenor of the Scottish Greens, today (14 Dec) restated his party's budget priorities of fairer taxes and protection of public services, ahead of this afternoon's statement from the Finance Secretary.

In recent months Green MSPs have made the case for:
* Progressive changes to income tax – by increasing the number of rates and bands, revenue can be raised while low earners are protected
* Protection of public services including at local level – following last year’s concession preventing £160m of local cuts, the Government must begin to reverse the cuts made in previous years
* A fair public sector pay settlement which takes account of rising inflation – following pressure from the Greens, both SNP and Labour MSPs have backed this call
* Investment in low-carbon infrastructure such as energy efficient housing and sustainable transport – progress must be made toward a long term goal of committing 70% of capital spend to low carbon projects

Patrick Harvie, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Glasgow, said:

“Greens have already won a fundamental argument on income tax ahead of today's draft budget. Our proposals for a fairer system of rates and bands have shifted the debate, and those still talking about putting a penny on the basic rate, which would hit lower earners, are being left behind.

"On boosting public sector pay, Labour's last leader in Scotland says any progress will be down to the Greens' hard work. I am hopeful that we have made the case for a real-terms rise for hard-pressed nurses, teachers and others who deliver vital services.

"And I again say to the Finance Secretary that he needs to start repairing the damage to local council services caused by successive years of cuts from his government. Last year's intervention by the Green MSPs cancelled the SNP's proposed £160m of council cuts but we warned that we expected them to go further in future. Today's statement will demonstrate whether the Scottish Government is serious about protecting the schools, social care and community facilities we all rely on." 

 

 

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Following tonight’s vote at Holyrood, in which SNP MSPs voted to accept Green changes to the Scottish Budget on public services, workers’ pay and low-carbon infrastructure, Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

"Tonight’s climbdown by the SNP shows they accept that their draft budget cannot command support in Parliament, and they have accepted our view that changes are needed to protect public services, improve frontline workers’ pay and invest in low-carbon capital projects.

Harvie says analysis shows ministers have work to do on council funding and pay

Mon 18 Dec, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said today's (18 Dec) draft budget analysis by the impartial Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows ministers have serious work to do on council funding and pay if they want support from the Green MSPs.

The SPICe analysis shows:

*The Local Government Finance Circular shows Total Revenue falling by 1.6% in real terms, or £157.3m.

*Councils could potentially raise an additional £77m, if all 32 raised Council Tax by the maximum 3%.

Our councils deliver critically important services and the decision not to provide a real terms increase to their funding must be challenged

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 15 Dec, 2017

Derek Mackay has one of the most challenging jobs in politics. He has to construct a budget which not only balances the books, but defends against Tory austerity and meets rising demand for public services. He has to respond to the competing demands for investment in the future and also to the different views across a parliament of minorities.