Non-domestic rates: Wightman calls for proper scrutiny

Mon 20 Feb, 2017

Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, will this week prompt a debate at Holyrood's Local Government Committee about the lack of scrutiny of Non-Domestic Rates, which raise almost £3billion a year for council services.

At Wednesday’s committee, Andy will move a motion to annul the Non-Domestic Rate (Scotland) Order 2017 (SSI 2017/8).

Scotland being dragged into corporate power grab by Government happy for big business to call the shots

Wed 15 Feb, 2017

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 Feb) warned that the approval of the controversial EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) could make fracking in Scotland more likely.

"Postcode lottery" of road safety across Scotland

Sun 12 Feb, 2017

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, today (12 Feb) published Freedom of Information requests which show a "postcode lottery" of road safety across Scotland.

Councils were asked how many 20mph zones they have. The results show a huge variation, with Clackmannanshire saying all residential streets are 20mph and Edinburgh saying the majority of its streets are 20mph with a further 810 zones planned. By contrast, North Ayrshire Council only has four permanent 20mph zones and Falkirk has none. Neither plans to introduce any new 20mph zones.

Child Poverty Bill: Greens Urge Focus On Boosting Incomes

Fri 10 Feb, 2017

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (10 Feb) welcomed publication of the Scottish Government's Child Poverty Bill and urged Ministers to focus on boosting families' incomes. 

The Bill proposes a target that by 2030 fewer than 10 per cent of Scottish children are living in relative poverty. At the moment, in some parts of Scotland, a third of children live in relative poverty.

In recent months, the Green MSPs have secured a number of anti-poverty measures from the Scottish Government, including:

We must invest in a better future for Scots seeking work

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 10 Feb, 2017

The devolution of some aspects of the social security system is proving to be a huge opportunity for Scotland to show that a fairer society is possible. The package of powers devolved in the wake of the independence referendum was limited but even so, we can use these powers in creative ways to prove that we are a caring nation.

Proposed cut in aviation tax won't get off the ground

Thu 9 Feb, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today (9 Feb) used First Minister's Questions to warn Nicola Sturgeon that the Government's argument for the proposed cut in aviation tax won't get off the ground.

Five years ago Mr Harvie challenged then-First Minister Alex Salmond over the proposal at FMQs, and after consistently raising the issue with ministers, it was admitted that the policy would increase climate change emissions.

Councils will see an increase in funding and can shelve many of the cuts they had planned

Wed 8 Feb, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (8 Feb) published analysis showing that the Green budget deal struck last week with the Scottish Government means that local councils will see an increase in funding and can shelve many of the cuts they had planned.

Greens to reject Article 50 triggering in Holyrood debate

Tue 7 Feb, 2017

Remain supporters will rally outside the Scottish Parliament today in hope that MSPs will vote with the Greens against the triggering of Article 50.

Holyrood will debate a Green amendment to the Article 50 debate that outlines “widespread scepticism” that the UK can conclude negotiations within two years and that the Westminster government’s decision to proceed with a Brexit Bill does not “respect” the referendum result in Scotland.

Ross Greer said:

Drop in performance at A&E lies squarely with the Health Secretary

Tue 7 Feb, 2017

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (7 Feb) urged Scottish Ministers to focus on staffing after figures showed a further drop in the number of patients being seen within 4 hours of arriving at hospital emergency departments.

The Scottish Government target is that 95 per cent of patients are seen within four hours. Today's figures show that in December only 92.6 per cent were seen within that time, the latest month-on-month fall from a peak of 95.8 in July.

Dungavel decision must bring improved conditions say Greens

Fri 3 Feb, 2017

The decision to keep the Dungavel immigration centre open, rather than relocate to a new facility near Glasgow International Airport, must see the UK government treat detainees with “dignity and respect” say the Greens.

However, Ross Greer MSP, the party’s external affairs spokesperson, says that a shift in immigration policy is unlikely while the relevant powers are reserved at Westminster.