Greens call for Covid to be classed as occupational disease

Thu 7 May, 2020

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has called on the Scottish Government to seek to have Covid-19 classed as an occupational disease, in order that frontline health and care workers are eligible to seek compensation.

Speaking at a virtual parliamentary question session this afternoon, Ms Johnstone highlighted the global debate that is underway on compensation for frontline health and care workers and noted that Belgium has already added Covid-19 to its list of proscribed occupational diseases.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Low Emission Zones delay is public health disaster

Thu 7 May, 2020

The postponement of Low Emission Zones in cities in Scotland is a public health disaster, the Scottish Greens have said.

The decision to shelve the plans, most of which were already considerably underway, comes at a time when the Covid-19 crisis has heightened the urgent need to reduce air pollution.

Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell warned of the impact of a delay to Cab Sec Roseanna Cunningham in the Scottish Parliament , but the Scottish Government has pressed on with delays.

Harvie: FM must move to use full testing capacity

Wed 6 May, 2020

The First Minister must take urgent action to ensure Scotland’s Covid-19 testing capacity is being used, as recent figures suggest around three quarters of capacity is currently going unused.

Increase public stake in buses to help recovery

Wed 6 May, 2020

Increasing the public stake in bus companies will help Scotland ease out of lockdown, the Scottish Greens have said.

The call comes after First Group told Good Morning Scotland the company will find maintaining social distancing on routes “unsustainable” once lockdown is eased.

Scottish Green transport spokesperson John Finnie said: “Scotland can only start to leave lockdown when it is safe to do so, but we need to ensure that when we get moving again, jobs are protected and people are safe.

Post-Brexit farming support must be future proofed

Wed 6 May, 2020

Support for farmers after EU funds have been withdrawn must reflect the challenges Scotland faces as a country, the Scottish Greens have said.

Speaking as parliament debated the future of farming in Scotland after Brexit as part of the Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill stage 1 proceedings, Scottish Green Mark Ruskell said the sector needed to be supported to address the climate emergency and protect the food chain in the COVID-19 crisis.

Local govt needs status of normal European countries

Wed 6 May, 2020

Local government in Scotland could be brought up to European legal standards, if a member’s bill by Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman is successful.

The Green’s local government spokesperson Andy Wightman has introduced a bill to the Scottish Parliament which would enshrine the principles of localism in law, as set out in international treaty the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

The proposal to embed the rights and responsibilities of councils in law was successful in gaining the signatures of 26 cross-party MSPs, and is published today. [Wednesday 6 May 2020]

Guidance required for recycling centres say Greens

Tue 5 May, 2020

Responding to concerns around an increase in fly tipping as a result of the closure of local authority recycling centres, Scottish Greens Environment Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said:

“Now that the Scottish Government has committed to issuing guidance to local councils, it must do so urgently to ensure that recycling centres can be opened as soon and as safely as possible.

Scottish Government must introduce regular care testing

Tue 5 May, 2020

Questioning the Health Secretary in parliament this afternoon, Scottish Greens Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP called on the Scottish Government to urgently introduce regular testing in Scotland’s care homes to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Test trace isolate strategy needs urgent timescale

Mon 4 May, 2020

Scottish Greens have welcomed the Scottish Government’s strategy to test, trace and isolate cases of COVID-19 but have called for the proposals to be given an urgent timescale.

The paper published today commits the Scottish Government to undertake a rigorous testing  and tracing strategy, much like the Scottish Greens have been calling for, but at her press briefing the First Minister would only say that “enhanced” measures would be in place at the end of May.

Mental health justification for leaving house must be clear

Mon 4 May, 2020

Leaving the house during lockdown for permitted ‘daily exercise’ must include activity to boost mental health, the Scottish Greens have said.

Regulations make it clear that physical health is justification for leaving the home, but they are not clear on mental health reasons.