Tue 12 Apr, 2016

Our manifesto commitments put everyone first, building toward a better Scotland where no one will be left behind. Kirsten Robb

The Scottish Greens Candidates for Central Scotland today launched the party's 2016 election manifesto, pledging to deliver a bolder Holyrood and a better Scotland.

Opinion polls suggest Green MSPs will be elected from across the eight parliamentary regions, including at least one from Central Scotland. The party is enjoying a membership surge to over 9,000.

Key manifesto pledges include:

  • Using newly devolved income tax powers to enable those earning less than £26,500 to keep more of their pay, while raising revenue from those on above average incomes to invest in public services.
  • Creating over 200,000 jobs in lasting industries including oil and gas decommissioning, renewables and housing.
  • Enabling councils to buy land cheaply to encourage the construction of more and better homes.
  • A guarantee of work, training or education for every school leaver.
  • A 50 per cent increase the Carer’s Allowance to recognise the value of unpaid care.
  • A Living Wage Plus of 9 pounds an hour for social care staff.
  • Scrapping the outdated, unfair Council Tax and phasing in a residential property tax under which most households would pay less.

Speaking at the launch event in Edinburgh, Kirsten Robb, the youth and women's employment spokesperson for the party and MSP candidate for Central Scotland, said:

"I am excited and enthused by the improvement these policies will make to the lives of people in Central Scotland. Our manifesto commitments put everyone first, building toward a better Scotland where no one will be left behind. In particular, the Scottish Greens' policies on housing, youth employment and carers' pay are bold strides toward a fairer society, and I look forward to working with the next group of Green MSPs to deliver them over the years ahead."

John Wilson, the employment, living wage and skills spokesperson for the party and MSP candidate for Central Scotland, agreed:

"Our commitment to improving our communities is unwavering. The Scottish Green Party believe the best people to make a more inclusive society are the people of Scotland, and our manifesto policies will clearly ensure they have the power and support they need to do it thanks to strong Green representation in the Scottish Parliament."

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie, economy and finance spokesperson for the party and MSP candidate for Glasgow, said:

"The Scottish Greens have a track record of achievement. In the last session of parliament we pushed SNP ministers for bolder action on everything from land reform and rent controls to fracking and fan ownership of football clubs.

"With fellow candidates on the campaign trail in recent weeks I have seen how we are tapping into a public appetite for a Scottish Parliament that is bolder in its actions. Our high calibre candidates are ready to get to work in Holyrood, delivering great results for communities the length and breadth of this country."

Fellow Scottish Greens co-convener Maggie Chapman, social justice spokesperson for the party and MSP candidate for the North East, said:

"A more equal Scotland is a core principle of the Scottish Greens. We are the only party proposing to cut income tax for those earning less than the average while asking those on high incomes to contribute a fairer share. Scotland can raise extra funds fairly for public services while also tackling inequality.

"Our manifesto shows how a vote for the Scottish Greens is a vote for a bolder Holyrood, for a plan to deliver lasting jobs, high quality social care and good homes for all. The Scottish Greens are best placed to meet the challenges of our time."

Other manifesto highlights include:

  • Banning fracking.
  • Promoting a written constitution and devolving power to local level.
  • Recruiting 4,000 full-time equivalent teachers to tackle unsustainable workloads.
  • Guaranteeing financial support for college students.
  • Restoring locally-accountable policing and investing in crime prevention.
  • Prioritising a healthy start for children with support for healthy pregnancies.
  •  Rebalancing the transport budget to tackle under-investment in walking, cycling, buses and trains.

The manifesto is available online at greens.scot/scotland-can.

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