Ministers must heed GP survey as they consider their draft budget

Fri 9 Dec, 2016


Scottish Ministers should heed the call from GPs for additional funding and staff, according to Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

A BMA survey of 900 GPs in Scotland found that  
91 per cent believe their workload has negatively impacted on the quality of care given to patients, and when asked to rank priorities, 44 per cent said increased funding and 36 per cent said increased GP numbers.

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

A truly productive economy must provide prosperity that benefits everyone

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Dec, 2016

Amid all the big disagreements in Scottish politics, there are still some areas of common ground. From arch Brexiteers to committed Europeans, from Union flag wavers to those still wearing Yes badges, and from austerity cheerleaders on the Tory benches to left-leaners who passionately believe in a new economic vision for the country; pretty much everyone agrees about one thing. We have a woefully low level of productivity.

Making a fairer Scotland for disabled people

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 9 Dec, 2016


This week, I spoke in a debate about a disability delivery plan. The government's “A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People” plan, which lays out an ambitious approach to achieving disability equality, is one that I broadly welcome.

With non-disabled people being almost twice as likely as disabled people to be in work, and given that that figure has barely changed in more than a decade, the Government’s aim to halve the disability employment gap is welcome and could not be more urgently needed.

First Minister urged to bolster relations with US states and cities

Thu 8 Dec, 2016

The First Minister was urged to seek a new “special relationship” with individual US states after President-elect Donald Trump appointed a climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP reminded Nicola Sturgeon that she previously said her views on Trump were “not materially different” to his own and pushed her to condemn the appointment of Scott Pruitt.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

Plans by Scottish Ministers to raise 40% income tax threshold are hypocritical

Thu 8 Dec, 2016

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today used General Questions at Holyrood to challenge the Finance Secretary over a "hypocritical" proposed tax cut for high earners.

In the coming financial year, higher rate taxpayers in Scotland, such as MSPs and Ministers, will receive a tax cut of around £178 a year. 

Harvie criticises DWP plans to close Glasgow job centres

Wed 7 Dec, 2016

The decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to close half of the jobcentres in Glasgow has been criticised by the Green MSP for the city.

Scottish Greens’ co-convener, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“While it’s good that the DWP says no jobs will be lost as a result of this, staff will be looking for more certainty on what their future working arrangements will be, especially as we get closer to Christmas. For those out of work, the UK government seems to be going out of its way to make the prospect of finding employment even more difficult.

Harvie: Westminster unlikely to listen to Dugdale proposals

Wed 7 Dec, 2016

Responding to a speech by the Scottish Labour leader in London this morning, Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener, has said the proposals are unlikely to go ahead because the Westminster government “appears unwilling to consider far more modest proposals”.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

Ministers must reverse decision to abolish agency boards

Wed 7 Dec, 2016

Ross Greer MSP, Education & Skills spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (7 Dec) challenged Scottish Ministers to walk back their decision to merge the boards of the Scottish Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise before fully understanding the implications.

At today's meeting of Holyrood's Education committee, Mr Greer highlighted the threat to university funding from perceptions that the proposed single board would be too close to government.

We must be bold in our vision for Scotland's energy future

Tue 6 Dec, 2016

Scottish Green MSPs tonight (6 Dec) expressed disappointment after other parties voted down proposals to set a target of Scotland producing half of all the energy it consumes from clean, renewable sources.

The Greens believe the target, which is backed by industry and charities, would help create more jobs, reduce climate change emissions and air pollution, and cut fuel poverty.

Ministers must explore retailer levy if they want to tackle obesity emergency

Tue 6 Dec, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (6 Dec) responded to the latest worrying figures on obesity by highlighting the option of a levy on big retailers to reduce the amount of unhealthy food they promote.

Figures show that in 2015, 65 per cent of adults were overweight, including 29 per cent who were obese. 28 per cent of children were at risk of being overweight, including 15 per cent at risk of obesity. And prevalence of Type 2 diabetes continues to increase steadily.