The Scottish Budget Challenge: Raise revenue to deliver on promises without raiding local services & without hitting low earners

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 24 Nov, 2017

A budget, from either government, is always a critical point on the parliamentary calendar. It’s true that budget documents are only fully understood in the days or weeks after publication, but I guess we all need to make a first stab it is, so here’s mine.

All governments play a bit of a game with their budgets, drawing attention to the good news and hiding the bad. It’s often called “smoke and mirrors”, but given the way governments try to lead their rivals to pick on the wrong aspects to criticise, I think the old cup-and-ball routine is a better metaphor.

FMQS: Harvie warns First Minister not to follow #Budget2017 Stamp Duty cut

Thu 23 Nov, 2017

The Scottish Government would be foolish to follow the UK government’s lead by cutting stamp duty says Patrick Harvie.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Harvie highlighted how stamp duty, already devolved to Holyrood and called the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, was previously cut by the Scottish Government and warned that a repeat of this would likely lead to a rise in house prices in Scotland.

Green policy of Basic Income progresses in Scotland

Thu 23 Nov, 2017

The Scottish Greens are celebrating the launch of a grant for a quarter of a million pounds to explore the creation of a Citizens’ Income, a longstanding Green policy.

Angela Constance revealed the details in a letter to Holyrood’s social security committee where the minister confirmed that the £250,000 grant is being made available for four pilot councils if they have their bids accepted.

Tory budget obsession with public debt will cause deep harm as a result of austerity

Wed 22 Nov, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance and Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (22 Nov) criticised the UK Chancellor for a budget that continues shameful treatment of women and families.

Patrick said:

“The Chancellor expects applause for graciously agreeing to treat Scotland’s emergency services no worse than elsewhere in the UK, while pressing ahead with the most reckless and destructive economic course of action any UK Government has ever undertaken. 

#BUDGET2017: Green MSP launches women and welfare summit

Wed 22 Nov, 2017

Women are experiencing austerity and welfare reform disproportionately a Green MSP will warn today (22 Nov) at a meeting of academics and third sector experts on the day of the UK government’s budget.

Organised by Alison Johnstone MSP, the summit at Holyrood will bring together anti-poverty campaigners, women's rights organisations and frontline service providers to address, what she calls, the “devastating impact” years of austerity have had on women's incomes, health and opportunities.

Greener budget needed as figures show Scottish Government weak on low carbon

Tue 21 Nov, 2017

The Scottish Government is failing to heed expert advice to allocate 70 per cent of its capital spending to low-carbon infrastructure projects, analysis by the Scottish Green MSPs shows.

Ahead of this week's UK Budget, which will affect Scottish Ministers' capital spending, the Greens are warning that of Scottish infrastructure projects underway, less than 28 per cent are low-carbon, such as electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail service. Almost 51 per cent of projects underway are high-carbon, such as the expansion of the M8-M73-M74 motorways.

A dysfunctional housing market gives landlords undue power

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 17 Nov, 2017

Moving back to Glasgow from university, some twenty-odd years ago, I was in the same position as most people of my age in knowing that the private rented sector was my only option. With social housing unavailable and owner occupation unaffordable, a private tenancy was already the only housing choice available to a great many people. There was some pretty shoddy housing out there, and some pretty sharp practice too, as I found to my cost when I was harassed out of one flat by a landlord who refused even to give me a written lease.

FMQs: Green MSP raises ScotRail voluntary redundancy issue

Thu 16 Nov, 2017

A Green MSP has raised concerns about the welfare and morale of staff at Scotland’s largest train operator caused by the high number of vacancies, work being undertaken by agency staff and the issuing of voluntary redundancy forms.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions John Finnie, the party’s transport spokesperson, highlighted how ScotRail has now issued a “Voluntary Leavers’ Scheme”, the third time in the last two years Scotrail has encouraged staff to leave and despite RMT advising that the company has a significant number of vacancies.

Harvie uses FMQs to urge industrial strategy that supports jobs such as those under threat at BiFab

Thu 16 Nov, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (16 Nov) used First Minister's Questions to urge a fresh industrial strategy that urgently supports jobs in renewable energy such as the 1,400 under threat at BiFab in Fife and the Western Isles.

Green MSPs met with BiFab workers at today's rally outside Parliament, while on Tuesday Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, pressed the Economy Secretary on the issue.

Wightman reveals inspectors have warned George Watsons College is not adequately safeguarding pupil welfare

Wed 15 Nov, 2017

Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, today (15 Nov) used a Holyrood debate on bullying in schools to reveal that inspectors have warned that private Edinburgh school George Watsons College is not adequately safeguarding pupil welfare.

In the debate, Andy said: