Extreme weather shows need for action

Fri 28 Jun, 2019

Scotland’s flash flooding and Europe-wide warning of a dangerous heatwave show the need for real action on climate change, Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell has said.

The party’s environment spokesperson won concessions from the Scottish Government this week as the Climate Change (Emissions Reductions Targets) (Scotland) Bill passes through parliament.

Government must ensure all entitled receive child payment

Wed 26 Jun, 2019

Scottish Ministers must ensure that all those eligible for the new Scottish Child Payment are able to claim it if it is to fulfil its purpose of seriously tackling child poverty according to Scottish Greens Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP. 

The Lothian MSP highlighted that while take up of the well-established child benefit payment sits at 95%, many of the ‘gateway’ benefits to the new payment are significantly under claimed and asked the Communities Secretary how the government would ensure all those eligible were made aware of the new payment. 

Johnstone launches bill to protect wildlife

Mon 24 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP will today (24 Jun) launch a consultation on her member’s bill to provide legal protections to foxes and hares. 
The consultation, which will run until mid-September, will gather views from people across Scotland and help shape the final bill proposal. 

Greens welcome plan to improve franchise

Fri 21 Jun, 2019

Green MSP Ross Greer has today welcomed plans published by the Scottish Government to legislate to improve the franchise for devolved election in Scotland, this follows parliament voting in favour of Mr Greer’s amendment to allow refugees and asylum seekers the right to vote last year. 

Ross Greer MSP said: 

Harvie calls for clarity from Finance Secretary 

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP has called for clarity from the Scottish Government over how it plans to deal with a predicted budget shortfall over the next few years. 

Patrick Harvie MSP said: 

Patrick Harvie: Government must deliver asylum accommodation pledge

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Glasgow’s Green MSP Patrick Harvie has said the Scottish Government must ensure emergency accommodation is available for people facing eviction at the hands of the UK Government’s asylum contractor Serco.

In an exchange at First Ministers Questions on plans to mark Refugee Festival Scotland, Harvie said the Government must deliver its previous commitment to emergency housing for asylum seekers facing destitution.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

Food benefit scheme welcome but needs improvement, Greens say

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Green Social Security Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today welcomed the introduction of the Best Start Foods scheme but backed concerns that design changes are needed.

The scheme, which replaces the UK Healthy Start Vouchers, provides prepaid cards for pregnant women and parents to purchase healthy food for their children. 

The new policy increases the money available but reduces the upper age limit from 4 to 3. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Greens urge long term plan for Sauchiehall Street

Thu 20 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens have urged a long term recovery plan for Sauchiehall Street and the surrounding area, as the Scottish Parliament marked the first anniversary of the devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art.

Patrick Harvie, Glasgow’s Green MSP, told a members’ debate that local residents and businesses are still feeling the effects of the fire and deserve stronger commitments from local and national government.

WIGHTMAN: MORE ACTION NEEDED ON EMPTY HOMES

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens have welcomed progress in reducing the number of people owning second homes in Scotland but called for more action to address growing numbers of empty homes.

Figures out today show a 2.83% year-on-year drop in second homes – down more than a quarter from 2008 levels. However the number of homes sitting empty has grown by 21% since 2008, with 83,435 empty homes in 2018. In Edinburgh the number of empty homes is up 6% year-on-year, and in the Highlands it is up by 12%.

Andy Wightman MSP, the Scottish Greens’ housing spokesperson, said:

Greens call for climate action plan for farming

Tue 18 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Farming Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP will today (18 Jun) bring forward amendments to the Climate Change Bill to create a new action plan to tackle emissions from farming as part of the climate emergency. 

The system currently used to calculate Scotland’s climate change emissions separates agriculture from land use, meaning farming often is credited for emissions from agriculture, but not the positive sequestering effect of good land management and forestry, which also takes place on our farms. 

Mark Ruskell MSP said: