Scottish Greens win ban on bailouts for tax avoiders

Wed 20 May, 2020

Scotland will not give taxpayer-funded Covid-19 bailouts to companies registered in tax havens, thanks to the Scottish Greens.

Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie pushed for the changes to emergency laws after several big businesses lobbied for bailouts despite paying very little tax. They are expected to pass later.

Countries across Europe including Denmark, France and Poland have already agreed that companies registered in tax havens will not receive taxpayer-funded Covid-19 bailouts.

Around 7,000 signed a petition by the party backing the move.

SNP miss opportunity to build on cycling boom

Tue 19 May, 2020

The Scottish Government has failed to capitalise on the growth in cycling and walking, rejecting Scottish Green proposals to embed new temporary measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists for two years.

Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell proposed amendments to emergency laws which would have seen the reallocation of road space by councils to allow increasing numbers of people walking and cycling to keep to safe social distancing continue for two years.

Greens secure information win 

Tue 19 May, 2020

Speaking after his amendments to restore freedom of information access were passed this afternoon, Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said: 

“I'm grateful that my amendments were passed unanimously, ensuring that the public, journalists and elected representatives have access to as much information as possible during this crisis. Confidence in government is critical right now but it depends on transparency.

SNP and Tory 'stitch-up' denies tenant rights

Tue 19 May, 2020

SNP MSPs have teamed up with Conservatives to defeat Andy Wightman’s proposals to provide stability for tenants during the coronavirus crisis.

At COVID committee in the Scottish Parliament, Andy Wightman’s proposed amendments to emergency laws were defeated by a coalition of SNP and Tory MSPs.

The vote comes after the two parties secured a deal to provide financial support for landlords.

Emergency law must ease access to contraceptive pill 

Mon 18 May, 2020

Scottish Greens have called for measures to allow for the contraceptive pill to be made available free from pharmacies to be included in emergency coronavirus legislation. 

Currently the contraceptive pill can only be accessed for free with a prescription from a GP, however the party’s parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone MSP has claimed that the lockdown measures employed to tackle coronavirus have reduced access to contraceptives, a major concern at a time when many women are in more vulnerable situations. 

Johnstone welcomes introduction of carer testing

Mon 18 May, 2020

Welcoming this afternoon’s announcement from the Health Secretary that the Scottish Greens proposal for regular testing of care home staff is to be introduced, Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP said: 

Harvie: No bailouts for tax dodgers

Thu 14 May, 2020

Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP has called on the Scottish Government to stop bailing out tax avoiders. 

Speaking at a virtual questions session this afternoon, Mr Harvie highlighted an announcement by the Welsh Government yesterday that it won’t give bailout cash to firms based in tax havens and reiterated his call for the Scottish Government to adopt the same approach. 

Patrick Harvie MSP said: 

SEPA takes legal action over Mossmorran flaring

Thu 14 May, 2020

SEPA have taken legal action over flaring by Exxon Mobil at Mossmorran chemical plant in Fife.

The agency is seeking prosecution over a six-day flaring incident in April 2019, just one of many incidents which have caused serious light, sound and air pollution to nearby residents in Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly.

Scottish Greens call for two-year rent freeze

Wed 13 May, 2020

The second set of emergency laws to be made in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic must protect vulnerable tenants, the Scottish Greens have said.

Following a Scottish Government U-turn on the needs for students to be freed from restrictive private accommodation contracts, the Greens will lodge amendments to the new emergency bill to protect other vulnerable tenants.

These will include a two-year rent freeze following the expiry of the emergency period.

Commenting, Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP said: