Our focus must be on quality of employment, not just quantity

26 August, 2016 - 15:46

Responding to publication by the Scottish Government of a Labour Market strategy, Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy & Fair Work spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

Let’s make progress toward the stronger, diversified economy we need

Patrick Harvie MSP 26 August, 2016 - 10:31

The phoney war that is the annual GERS debate has broken out again. It’s all too predictable, but with Scotland’s public finances under scrutiny I make no apology for once again challenging the dominant assumptions about oil and gas. In 2014 the Green Yes campaign published figures showing that the multinationals operating in the North Sea were receiving around £1 billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – despite making huge profits.

To stop the first Scottish sanctions, all that’s needed is political will

Alison Johnstone MSP 25 August, 2016 - 14:33

Amid the uncertainty of Brexit, there’s a hard reality approaching from Scotland’s independence referendum. In April next year Scotland will take charge of the UK Government’s Work Programme and Work Choice schemes. The Work Programme in particular has a poor record of helping people into employment. We have a chance to do things differently.

Currently, benefit recipients can be referred to the Work Programme on a mandatory basis, and sanctions applied if they refuse to take part, or are deemed not to be properly engaging with it.

Further education should be accessible to all

25 August, 2016 - 09:56

The Scottish Greens today (25 Aug) highlighted an Audit Scotland's report into Scotland's college sector, showing that student numbers overall have decreased, with a steep decline in part-time learning. 

The report shows the biggest reductions are among women and people aged over 25.

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

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.