Ministers under pressure to rethink support for exports of live farm animals as BBC doc exposes cruelty

Mon 10 Sep, 2018

Scottish Ministers are under renewed pressure from the Scottish Greens to rethink their support for exports of live farm animals as a BBC documentary exposes the cruelty of the practice. 

The export of live animals is unnecessary

Mark Ruskell MSP Mon 10 Sep, 2018

The footage in BBC Scotland’s Disclosure: The Dark Side of Dairy documentary was shocking, but not unexpected. The issue of live exports has been bubbling away in the Scottish Parliament, ever since the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, had an unprompted outburst back in February and said: "Let me be absolutely clear, [a ban on live exports] is one UK-wide framework the Scottish government will not be participating in”.

Ending 'justifiable assault' will show that Scotland really is the best place in the world to grow up

Fri 7 Sep, 2018

Today (7th September) John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has published his Member’s Bill to give children equal protection from assault. 

If passed the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill will see Scotland join more than 50 other countries around the world in ensuring that children are protected from physical punishment. 

It’s time to free up local communities to make their own democratic choices

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 7 Sep, 2018

This week’s return to business for the Scottish Parliament was an opportunity to address the hopes of people in every community across the country. Making Scotland a fairer, progressive, more democratic country is something there’s broad agreement on but it’s an agenda that has needs a far bolder approach at Holyrood.

I’m reminded of the very blunt response given by a Swedish commentator when author and National columnist Lesley Riddoch explained the convoluted and remote way that local services are currently funded in Scotland: “Don’t you trust yourselves?”

Education Secretary should ‘cut his losses’ & scrap standardised testing of five-year-olds

Wed 5 Sep, 2018

Education Secretary John Swinney was today (5 Sep) told by Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP to ‘cut his losses’ and scrap the standardised testing of five-year-olds before the Scottish Parliament votes to instruct him to do so.

Programme for Government is a missed opportunity

Tue 4 Sep, 2018

The Scottish Greens today (4 Sep) branded the SNP’s Programme for Government as a missed opportunity.

Co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP had urged the First Minister to set out a bolder set of priorities such as investing in new teachers, reforming local taxation and improving public transport.

In the Programme for Government for 2018-19 outlined today, the First Minister highlighted the new progressive system of income tax, the creation of a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, and a Young Carer’s Grant - all of which were Scottish Green manifesto commitments in 2016.

Green MSP points to plummet in public services satisfaction

Tue 4 Sep, 2018

The publication of the Scottish Household Survey, showing that satisfaction in public services is at its lowest since the survey began in 2007, is further evidence of the urgent need for councils to be given tax powers, says a Green MSP.

Andy Wightman, the Scottish Greens’ local government spokesperson, is also warning Scottish ministers to avoid repeating attempts at “green window dressing” after the survey also showed a considerable rise in those who believe climate change is an “immediate and urgent problem”.

Mr Wightman, a Green MSP for Lothian, said:

FM must set out bolder set of priorities such as investing in teachers, reforming local taxation & improving public transport

Tue 4 Sep, 2018

As the Scottish Parliament returns from Summer recess, the Scottish Greens are challenging the First Minister to set out a bolder set of priorities such as investing in new teachers, reforming local taxation and improving public transport.

Ahead of this afternoon’s (4 Sep) Programme for Government speech by Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP is warning that investment in teachers is needed more than ever given the time ministers wasted on an Education Bill that they were forced to shelve.

Greens deride First Minister for ‘forefront of low carbon travel’ claim

Mon 3 Sep, 2018

A Green MSP is accusing the First Minister of “green window dressing” after claiming that a £16m fund, and announcements in the 2018-19 Programme for Government, will place Scotland at the “forefront of low carbon travel”.

John Finnie, the Scottish Greens’ transport spokesperson, says the claim is hollow because Norway has pledged to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025, seven years ahead of the Scottish Government’s 2032 aim.

Ministers under pressure to devolve taxes as our research shows 8/10 Scots want councils to have new powers

Sun 2 Sep, 2018

Scottish Ministers preparing for this week’s return of parliament (w/b 3 Sep) are under pressure to devolve tax-raising powers after an opinion poll commissioned by the Scottish Greens showed more than 8 in 10 Scots want local councils to be able to raise funds from tourism, property and land.

It comes after repeated warnings from the Green MSPs that failure to reform local taxation would prevent any discussion with the minority SNP Government about the coming year’s budget.