Responding to the announcements made during the First Minister’s conference speech, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“I’ve no doubt the announcement of a £500 payment to NHS and social care staff will be warmly welcomed by the dedicated workers, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout this pandemic. An ad hoc payment must not become an alternative to a proper uplift in the Scottish government's pay policy though. It’s essential that negotiations with trade unions are prioritised, and that the Tory pay freeze is rejected, so that everyone working to deliver our public services receives the pay increase that they deserve. The Scottish Government must also move faster to rollout routine COVID testing throughout the health and care workforce as quickly as possible.
“The Scottish people are the only people who can determine their future, and it is right to say that they alone will decide when and whether there is an independence referendum. Scotland has the right to resume its place as an independent European nation, and the Scottish Greens will go into May’s election committing to a referendum. Our MSPs will be crucial to establishing a pro-independence majority."