Greens encourage families to apply for new grant

Mon 29 Apr, 2019

Greens are encouraging all eligible families to apply for a new payment available to some families with nursery-age children, opening for applications today.

Families claiming low-income benefits can apply for the new Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment. This provides a one-off payment of £250 to help families with the cost of children aged two to three-and-half attending early years education.

It is the first entirely new social security payment made by the new devolved social security system.

Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Ex SNP Environment Minister admits “issues” with air tax cuts

Mon 29 Apr, 2019

Former SNP Environment Secretary Stewart Stevenson MSP has admitted that “there are issues,” with the Scottish Government’s proposals on slashing aviation tax. 

Mr Stevenson’s comments were made during a debate on the climate crisis with Green MSP Ross Greer on Good morning Scotland. In response to a question from presenter Gary Robertson about how cutting air taxes could be compatible with declaring a climate emergency, as the First Minister did at her party conference this weekend, Mr Stevenson replied, “I think there are issues around that.”

Greens respond to Climate Emergency declaration

Mon 29 Apr, 2019

Responding to reports that the SNP has performed a dramatic u-turn, declaring a climate emergency, Scottish Greens Climate Spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: 

“Last month SNP MSPs voted against my motion to declare a climate emergency. 

“Following the First Minister’s declaration at her party conference on Sunday, I had hoped that we may be seeing a welcome change of direction rather than just another press release.

For a just and welcoming Scotland in the heart of Europe, vote Green

Maggie Chapman Mon 29 Apr, 2019

In 2014 Scotland had a vote. No, not that one. Before the independence referendum came the European election. It feels like a lifetime ago. And unlike in 2014, next month’s European elections have a much higher profile. In just under a month’s time, Scots will go to the polls to vote for representation in the European Parliament. It is vital that we have voices who can represent the internationalist, welcoming country that Scotland aspires to be.

FMQs: Greens challenge SNP over Indy economic vision

Thu 25 Apr, 2019

Scottish independence must offer the hope of a genuine change of economic direction, instead of mimicking the UK's failed austerity agenda, according to Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Patrick Harvie. The Scottish Government backed Green calls for a Green New Deal in Parliament yesterday, and Harvie today challenged Nicola Sturgeon to be more ambitious in following through on this commitment, and to ensure that the independence campaign doesn’t close the door on this agenda.

Ruskell queries ‘final warning’ on Mossmoran flaring

Thu 25 Apr, 2019

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell has urged the Scottish Government to take action after gas flaring by ExxonMobil at its Mossmoran plant since the Easter weekend has led to record complaints from affected residents.

Mr Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, has called on the First Minister to intervene after the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said it was launching a new investigation into the flaring, despite them having already issued ExxonMobil with a ‘final warning’ letter in April 2018 over ‘preventable and unacceptable’ flaring.

Parliament backs a Green New Deal

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s backing for a Green New Deal following a debate in parliament this evening.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

SNP LOSE VOTE ON GP SHORTAGES

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

The Scottish Government has been defeated in a vote on GP shortages after opposition parties united behind a Scottish Greens motion brought by parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP.

The debate highlighted local issues all over Scotland as a result of challenges recruiting and retaining GPs while demand for services is growing. The opposition parties backed calls from the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners for 11pc of the Health budget to go to GP services.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Wightman: More radical action needed on vacant land blight

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

Progress on reducing the amount of vacant and derelict land in Scotland is welcome, but more radical action is needed to stop the blight and create opportunities for local communities, according to Scottish Greens land reform spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.

The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland decreased by 716 hectares (6%) in the past year but there are still over 11,000 hectares – equivalent to around two-thirds of the land area of Glasgow – which could be put to better use.

Greens welcome independence announcement

Wed 24 Apr, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP this afternoon welcomed the statement from the First Minister outlining plans for a future independence referendum.

Alison said:

“The Scottish Greens have always believed that Scotland’s future should be in Scotland’s hands, as an independent nation at the heart of Europe. The Brexit shambles has only confirmed our belief that we would be far better governing ourselves. So we welcome the First Minister’s statement today.