New tax powers should be used to protect services & make Scotland fairer

Wed 2 Nov, 2016

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (2 Nov) welcomed comments by economic experts on the creation of new income tax bands to raise revenues for public services.

Speaking at Holyrood's Finance Committee, David Bell, Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling, suggested opting for a "Scandinavian solution", where additional tax bands are created between the current 20p basic rate and the higher 40p rate, to generate additional funds.

Green MSP demands answers on RBS role in controversial US pipeline

Wed 2 Nov, 2016

A Green MSP has written to the boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) urgently seeking a meeting to discuss the bank’s involvement in the controversial Bakken pipeline project in the United States.

Scotland can reject cruel approach to benefits

Tue 1 Nov, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (1 Nov) urged the Scottish Government to use new devolved powers to stop an estimated 20,000 Scottish children being punished by the Westminster Government's lower benefits cap.

The Chartered Institute of Housing says that households will lose up to £115 per week, affecting 7,000 families in Scotland from next week. The CIH says families will face a substantial gap between their rent and the help they receive to pay for their housing, prompting fears that more people will become homeless.

By supporting arms trade enterprise agencies are squandering vital funds

Tue 1 Nov, 2016

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (1 Nov) hit out at the Scottish Government and its development agencies after uncovering an £18.5million package of support for the arms trade.

In response to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Finnie, asking for details of public funds supporting development, manufacture or marketing in the arms trade, Economy Secretary Keith Brown revealed that over the last ten years Scottish Enterprise has handed out £15.1million and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £3.4million.

Greens to work with other parties to scrap football Act

Mon 31 Oct, 2016

The Scottish Greens will work with other Holyrood parties to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act as quickly as possible.

Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener reinforced the party’s commitment to repealing the Act during his speech to conference last weekend.
The Greens’ justice spokesperson John Finnie outlined how it is wrong to take on wider issues in society by “only targeting people who are football fans”.

We must plan an economy for Ayrshire that does not feature nuclear

Mon 31 Oct, 2016

Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West of Scotland, today (31 Oct) said that safety concerns about the Hunterston nuclear plant aired in a BBC documentary show the need for Ayrshire to plan an economic shift away from such a risky, high-cost industry.

In the programme, fears are raised by nuclear expert John Large that the plant's reactors might not be able to shut down in an emergency. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information show regulator concerns over cracks in reactor three of Hunterston B.

Understanding the impact of cuts to local government budgets

Mon 31 Oct, 2016

Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (31 Oct) highlighted a report showing the social impact of the 2016-17 local government budget.

The SPICe/Glasgow University/Heriot Watt University report shows most council expenditure is on services used by less affluent communities - services such as social work, public transport and citizen's advice - but that most cuts have also landed on these services. 
 
Andy Wightman, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

Make social security user-friendly so people get what they're entitled to

Sun 30 Oct, 2016

As the Scottish Government's consultation on how to use new social security powers closes, the Scottish Greens are proposing automatic payment of all relevant benefits for anyone making an application for support.

At the moment, people have to make applications for each individual benefit they think they might be entitled to.

Finnie: UK’s UN failure leaves no British option to scrap trident

Fri 28 Oct, 2016

A British road to nuclear disarmament “no longer exists” says a Green MSP, after the United Kingdom refused to join with 123 nations at the United Nations to hold a global summit to abolish nuclear weapons.

Green MSP John Finnie has also urged Jeremy Corbyn supporters in Scotland to back scrapping Trident via independence, calling it the “only realistic prospect” of removing nuclear weapons from Britain.

We must find a way to secure a brighter future for Scotland’s students

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 28 Oct, 2016

“The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scotland,” reads a rather grandiose monument at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. I put it rather more simply than the former First Minister when I told a student protest outside Holyrood in 2011: “If I ever vote for fees, sack me.”

Education is a right that should be available to all, not just those who can afford it. Creating more opportunities for everyone who wants to gain a place at college or university is vital for our collective prosperity and quality of life.