Harvie: We all must show compassion at this challenging time

Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP has called on everyone to demonstrate the values of compassion, solidarity and mutual care at this most challenging time.

Speaking at First Minister’s Question this afternoon Mr Harvie referenced the unprecedented challenge faced by every level of government and for parliament. The Glasgow MSP also expressed his thanks and concern for those dedicated workers dealing with this crisis.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“The current crisis is an unprecedented challenge for every level of government; it’s a challenge for all of us to work together as never before; it’s also a challenge for our whole society to show that the values of compassion, solidarity and mutual care are what matters at a time like this.

“I want to join with others in expressing our thanks and concern for the dedicated people working in our NHS and other public services, and also for those people who have been long undervalued – every carer, cleaner, supermarket worker and many more; their work is essential to help us all get through this, and they need our support.

“Like other members I’ve heard from many people who just want to help, whether that’s keeping in touch with family, looking after a neighbour or making sure people in isolation have what they need.”

Mr Harvie also highlighted the serious concerns facing many tenants both in the private and social sector, he added:

“One group in our society most urgently in need of help is those who are losing their incomes, but facing continued rent demands.

“I’ve heard from one constituent who has already seen her full time income disappear completely; her boss wants to be kind, but an events company with no events to run simply cannot pay her. She has no idea how she will pay her rent, or other bills.

“I’ve heard from landlords who are being responsible and recognising people’s needs, but also from people being forced out of their homes using a range of existing grounds for eviction – not just rent arrears.

“The Scottish Government’s announcement yesterday will still leave people facing a choice between the threat of losing their home at this dangerous time, or building up unpayable debts over the coming months, while in many cases their landlords are benefiting from a mortgage holiday.

“Isn’t it clear that we need a complete ban on evictions during this crisis, on any grounds, and a rent holiday for those who need it?”