GERS: We urge a diverse economy

24 August, 2016 - 13:37

Commenting on today's GERS figures, Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance & Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"These figures will inevitably set off another round of empty rhetoric, just as they do evey year, between those who think the SNP can do no wrong and those who think Scotland can never aspire to govern itself. In truth, the figures show what has been clear for years - that a strong future for Scotland's economy will depend on ending our reliance on oil and gas, and investing in the industries of the 21st century instead.

We condemn torture in Syrian prisons, urge America & Russia to act

22 August, 2016 - 11:02

Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has lodged a Scottish Parliament motion highlighting a new report by Amnesty International, which details the horrifying experiences of detainees in Syrian government prisons.

The report estimates that more than 17,723 people have died in custody in Syria over the past five years. It documents the cases of 65 torture survivors.

APD cut is a bizarre priority

19 August, 2016 - 12:58

The Scottish Greens today (19 August) dismissed the call from think-tank Reform Scotland for the Scottish Government to bring forward proposals to cut and then scrap Air Passenger Duty.

Earlier this summer analysis of a consultation into the Scottish Government's plans showed that the majority of respondents were opposed to the idea.

Scottish Greens have long questioned the policy, and forced ministers to reveal that cutting the duty would increase air traffic and the associated harmful climate change emissions.

Let's ensure Scottish employment programmes don't have sanctions

Patrick Harvie MSP 19 August, 2016 - 11:36

One of the most frequent arguments heard in 2014 in favour of Scotland becoming an independent country was that it would give us an opportunity to operate our own social security policy, setting a different political course from Westminster. In the face of the UK Government’s full scale assault on the welfare state, many people saw the need for a radical change and saw independence as the means.

Sanctions: Green MSP report shows how to end unfair penalties

19 August, 2016 - 09:55

Scottish Green MSPs today published a report showing, for the first time, the number of people likely to face sanctions under Scottish-controlled employment programmes unless the Scottish Government takes action.

The report - Scotland Against Sanctions - also makes the case that when employment programmes are devolved in April next year the Scottish Government should insist on contracts that prevent sanctions being implemented. 

The Greens' report finds:

Brexit discussion with big oil wrong priority

18 August, 2016 - 10:53

Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (18 Aug) challenged Scottish Secretary David Mundell over his decision to meet oil industry bosses as part of the UK Government's Brexit negotiation preparations.

Greens skeptical of Scottish Government 2020 broadband target

18 August, 2016 - 09:44

Scottish Greens are renewing their call for further investment in community broadband after an Audit Scotland report revealed challenges in rolling out high-speed internet nationally by 2020.

John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ rural and island communities spokesperson says the plan to have Scotland-wide broadband in just four years “looks unrealistic” because of the “vast areas” still without fast and reliable internet access.

Rise in drug-related deaths among 35 to 44 year olds is clearly a concern

17 August, 2016 - 12:12

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (17 Aug) called for clarity over funding cuts after figures published showed a sharp rise in drug-related deaths.

706 drug-related deaths were registered in Scotland in 2015, a 15 per cent rise on 2014, and more than double the figure for 2005. Half of those deaths were linked to heroin and/or morphine.

Between 2001/05 and 2011/15 the largest increase in deaths was among 35-44 year olds.

Greens push for public ownership of railways after fare rise announcement

16 August, 2016 - 12:23

Green MSPs will lobby the Scottish Government to put rail services back into public ownership after commuting in Scotland is set to become even more expensive.

John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ transport spokesperson, has also highlighted how the rise of regulated rail fares in Scotland by 1.9 percent next year shows that last year’s bidding process for the ScotRail franchise was a “massively wasted opportunity” to stabilise fare prices.

UCG report could be tipping point to deliver a ban on fracking

Mark Ruskell MSP 12 August, 2016 - 11:31

We now know that the first shipment of shale gas produced by fracking is expected to arrive in Scotland very soon.

The sight of the so-called "dragon" fleet of ships docking in Scotland will no doubt get Ineos bosses pushing for fracking to begin in Scotland, but we are not going to allow that to happen. The Scottish Parliament reflected public concern that fracking offers too much risk for too little gain and the time for the Scottish Government to come off the fence has arrived.