Tackling housing, diet & low incomes crucial to ease strain on 70-year-old NHS

Thu 5 Jul, 2018

Fixing the problems of damp, cold housing, poor diet and low incomes are crucial if Scotland is to ease the strain on the 70-year-old National Health Service, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Marking today's anniversary of the creation of the NHS, Alison said:

"There is much that we can learn from the history of our health service. If we want to ensure that every generation looks forward to better health than the last, we have to renew the sense of collective care and ambition that was central to the NHS's founding 70 years ago.

New Transport Secretary needs to get on board with public opinion on bus services

Wed 4 Jul, 2018

New Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has work to do to get on board with public opinion on bus services, according to polling results published today (4 July) by the Scottish Greens.

Last month the Scottish Government published a long-awaited Transport Bill, which would enable public bodies to step in where private operators fail but Greens warn that this will not stop commercial interests "cherry-picking" the most profitable routes.

Serious overhaul of drugs strategy needed in light of record number of deaths

Tue 3 Jul, 2018

A serious overhaul of the government's drugs strategy is needed in light of new figures showing a record number of drug-related deaths in Scotland, according to Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP.

The National Records of Scotland figures show there were 934 deaths in 2017, 66 (8 per cent) more than in 2016 and more than double the figure for 2007 (455). 

Plan to tackle obesity crisis unlikely to succeed unless ministers toughen up approach to big business

Mon 2 Jul, 2018

The latest government plan to tackle Scotland's obesity crisis is unlikely to succeed unless ministers toughen up their approach to profit-driven big food businesses and retailers, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

Today's 37-page "Diet & Healthy Weight Delivery Plan" has the aim of halving childhood obesity by 2030. 

Measures include:

Green MSP seeks views on Bill to strengthen local democracy

Fri 29 Jun, 2018

A Green MSP is launching a consultation on his draft proposal to strengthen local democracy by giving councils legal guarantees over their status, powers and finances.

If enacted, Andy Wightman’s draft Member's bill to incorporate the European Charter for Local Self-Government into Scots law would give citizens in Scotland the ability to challenge any action of the Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament which they consider violates the terms of the Charter.

We cannot be complacent on environmental protections as Brexit looms

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 29 Jun, 2018

Amid the hubbub of a cabinet reshuffle, a minister-in-waiting scandal and a shelved education bill, the growing threat facing Scotland’s environment has been somewhat overlooked this week.

Powers relating to most environmental matters, such as air quality, water, energy, food and farming are devolved to Scotland. To date, these powers have been used in the context of UK membership of the EU.

Those who live, work, train in, or coach in Meadowbank must be listened to

Alison Johnstone MSP Thu 28 Jun, 2018

Tomorrow, Friday 29th June, Edinburgh’s Development Management Committee will consider a proposal which will determine the future of Meadowbank Stadium.

Incredibly, it’s taken over a decade to get to this point.

FMQs: Harvie issues LGBT-inclusive education challenge

Thu 28 Jun, 2018

Patrick Harvie says Nicola Sturgeon must prioritise the implementation of legislation for an inclusive and prejudice-free education system for LGBT pupils after the SNP abandoned plans for its flagship education bill.

Today at First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener said that the government’s shelved education reforms should be scrapped indefinitely and that greater funding for schools must underpin the drive for improved education standards.

Fuel Poverty Bill doesn't go far enough

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

The Fuel Poverty Bill proposed today (27 June) by the Scottish Government doesn't go far enough, according to Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.

The government's proposal is that no more than 5 per cent of households in Scotland should be living in fuel poverty by 2040, but the plan falls short of the SNP manifesto pledge of a Warm Homes Bill to improve the energy efficiency of housing.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

Green MSP challenges Michael Gove on animal slaughter loophole

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

Michael Gove has been challenged by a Green MSP to close a loophole that could result in thousands of animals that are transported for fattening every year not being included in post-Brexit animal welfare legislation.

During questioning at Holyrood’s rural economy committee, the UK environment secretary asked John Finnie to forward evidence that thousands of calves leave Scotland every year for “processing” – a term used for the transportation of animals for fattening and then eventual slaughter.