Johnstone says suicide statistics show need for new mental health minister to prioritise prevention plan

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said suicide statistics published today (27 June) showed the need for the new mental health minister to prioritise a prevention plan promised by the previous minister.

Figures show there were 680 probable suicides in Scotland in 2017, down from 728 in 2016. 

Michael Gove reveals feeble replacement for European Court of Justice

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

Michael Gove’s plans for a weaker alternative to the European Court of Justice were ridiculed by a Green MSP today at Holyrood.

Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Greens’ environment spokesperson, says the new body, which Mr Gove revealed will not be allowed to “second guess” environmentally destructive planning decisions, will lead to significantly poorer environmental standards in the UK after leaving the European Union.

Giving local councils power over visitor tax would show Scotland is normal says Wightman

Wed 27 Jun, 2018

Giving local councils the power to levy a visitor tax as happens in other global destinations would show that Scotland is a normal European country, according to Scottish Greens local government spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.

Local government body COSLA today (27 June) called for more financial powers such as a visitor tax so Scottish councils can better fund local services and support local economies. 

Andy Wightman MSP said:

New Cabinet must take bolder action to make Scotland fairer & greener

Tue 26 Jun, 2018

Scottish Green MSPs are urging Nicola Sturgeon's new Cabinet to take bolder action on making Scotland fairer and greener.

Today's reshuffle means Health Secretary Shona Robison is to be replaced by Social Security minister Jeane Freeman.

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health and Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

“The role of Health Secretary is clearly one of the most challenging in Government.  Shona Robison has shown serious commitment and I wish her well for the future. 

Greer says Swinney "humiliated" as much-criticised Education Bill proposals are shelved

Tue 26 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer MSP today (26 June) described Education Secretary John Swinney as "humiliated" after the deputy first minister announced that he would be shelving his much-criticised Education Bill proposals.

Greens have been consistent opponents of the SNP's proposed changes of school governance, a view shared by teachers, unions, parents, councils and education experts, when the real issue facing Scottish education is lack of resources and loss of teaching and support staff.

Ross Greer MSP said:

Finnie calls on Scot Gov to speed up work on public sector rail bid

Tue 26 Jun, 2018

John Finnie MSP, Scottish Green Party Transport spokesperson, has this afternoon (26 Jun 2018) called on The Scottish Government to speed up their work on a public sector rail bid, accusing ministers of pushing proposals into the long grass.

The Minister for Transport and Islands has twice advised Mr Finnie that he will identify a suitable public sector body, firstly by spring and secondly before summer recess.

John Finnie, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said:

Wightman highlights opportunity of derelict land to tackle Scotland's housing crisis

Tue 26 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP today (26 June) highlighted new figures showing the opportunity to use derelict and vacant land to tackle Scotland's housing crisis. 

The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland is 11,649 hectares.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

Brexit – Two Years On, It Isn’t Over

Ross Greer MSP Mon 25 Jun, 2018

It has been two years since the Brexit referendum. Scotland’s clear vote to remain a member of the EU is being ignored by a blinkered and shambolic UK Government which is paralysed by infighting and held hostage by its own hard right extremists, intent on pursuing their fantasy interpretation of a long gone era.  

Wightman renews call for broad review of non-domestic rates, as Scot Gov launches plans for legislation 

Mon 25 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens housing and local government spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP today (25 June) renewed his call for a broader review of non-domestic rates, as the Scottish Government launches a consultation on plans for legislation. 

Ministers intend to legislate early next year, implementing the vast majority of the recommendations from the Barclay review.

Johnstone says boosting NHS workers’ pay is vital, as Scot Gov offers nine per cent over three years 

Mon 25 Jun, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP says boosting NHS workers’ pay is vital, as the Scottish Government offers nurses, midwives and paramedics a nine per cent rise over the next three years. 

The proposals would benefit 147,000 staff under the Agenda for Change pay system.

Alison Johnstone, health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said: