Modest draft budget when bold measures are needed

Thu 15 Dec, 2016

Scottish Greens say the Scottish Government's draft budget for 2017-18 published today is modest in its ambitions when bold measures are needed to tackle poverty and protect public services.

Scottish Ministers are sticking with Income Tax proposals that would give high earners an extra £178 a year. Scottish Greens have proposed creating new rates and bands so that instead lower earners would get a tax cut and that overall additional funds would be raised for public services.

Use powers to build an anti-poverty budget

Wed 14 Dec, 2016

Ahead of this afternoon's taxation debate at Holyrood and tomorrow’s draft Scottish budget for 2017-18, Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, urged Scottish Ministers to use powers over income tax to tackle poverty and protect local services such as education and social care.

Child obesity problem requires urgent action say Greens

Tue 13 Dec, 2016

A report published today revealing that almost a quarter of children in primary one are at risk of being overweight, must force the Scottish Government to develop a culture of healthy food and easy access to active play and physical activity in Scotland say the Scottish Greens.

Smaller classes are vital if we're to improve the quality of education

Tue 13 Dec, 2016

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (13 Dec) condemned the Scottish Government's "bizarre" priorities after "experimental" league-table statistics for schools were published and as figures showed a continued increase in class sizes.

The average class size is now 23.5, up from 23.4 last year and 22.5 in 2010. 

Finnie Urges Cap On Cost Of Bus Commutes

Sun 11 Dec, 2016

John Finnie MSP, Transport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Dec) urged Scottish Ministers to explore capping the cost of bus season tickets after discovering that some commuters are spending up to 17.7 per cent of their income getting from A to B.
 
Scottish Greens support re-regulation of buses to stop companies cherry-picking profitable routes. Greens also want to see free bus passes extended to unpaid carers.
 

Topping up Child Benefit would show how serious we are about social justice

Sun 11 Dec, 2016

Scottish Green MSPs, pushing for anti-poverty measures in the draft Scottish budget due to published this week, today (11 Dec) called on Scottish Ministers to consider a £5 a week top-up of Child Benefit to help the estimated 220,000 Scottish children who face a Christmas in poverty.

Newly-devolved social security powers give the Scottish Government the ability to top-up reserved benefits, with analysis for the Child Poverty Action Group showing that a £5 a week boost to Child Benefit would reduce child poverty by 14 per cent, lifting up to 30,000 children out of poverty.

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: