Long-term debt held by Scotland's 32 councils is £11.5billion

Wed 16 Nov, 2016

Scottish Green MSPs today (16 Nov) published a report revealing the scale of long-term debt being held by Scotland's 32 local authorities - a total of £11.5billion.

In many cases, councils are spending more than half of the money they bring in from Council Tax simply to pay interest on debts including loans from the UK Treasury and private banks.

The Green MSPs are calling for the debts to be written off, so that local authorities can focus their resources on protecting public services.

Good to see positive ideas coming forward to maintain Scotland's links with EU

Tue 15 Nov, 2016

Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 Nov) commented on proposals for Scotland to maintain strong links with Europe after Brexit.

As reported in today's Herald, Scots could be offered tailored passports to allow them to live and work in the European Union if the UK goes ahead with a hard Brexit that ends free movement of people. Experts at the London School of Economics and King’s College London have suggested that a devolved Scotland could issue its own national insurance numbers for Scots to use to apply for jobs in Europe.

Regulators don't have teeth & budget to control fish farm industry

Tue 15 Nov, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (15 Nov) challenged the Scottish Government's environmental regulator for relying on data from the fish farming industry that it is trying to regulate.

At the weekend it was reported that the number of fish farms rated as poor by SEPA has risen from 42 to 58.  

In evidence to today's meeting of Holyrood's environment committee, SEPA admitted that their budgets have been cut, forcing them to reduce their attention on potential polluters using what they call a risk-based approach.

US election may be legitimate but Trump’s politics are not

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 11 Nov, 2016

It probably goes without saying, but I’d prefer to be writing about almost any subject imaginable today, instead of the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency.

Legislation needed to stop eviction of tenant farmers

Fri 11 Nov, 2016

Andy Wightman MSP, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (11 Nov) urged the Scottish Government to bring forward emergency legislation to stop the eviction of tenant farmers across the country.

A number of farmers face losing their homes, land and businesses due to the Supreme Court ruling in 2013 that the Agricultural Holdings Act 2003 - which granted tenant farmers the right to stay on their farm in perpetuity - breached landlords' human rights.

Greens urge government to forge climate partnerships with US states

Thu 10 Nov, 2016

The Scottish Government was urged by the Greens today to work with individual US states in a bid to continue the global progress made with the Paris Climate Change agreement.

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to “reduce and eliminate” energy and climate change agreements made by the Obama administration.

Opportunity to use army sites for genuinely affordable housing

Wed 9 Nov, 2016

Andy Wightman MSP, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (9 Nov) urged Scottish Ministers to intervene in the proposed sell-off of defence sites including Glencorse Barracks in Midlothian, Redford Barracks in Edinburgh, and bases in Stirling.

In the past, unions have been critical of MoD land being sold on the cheap and without guarantees that developers would build affordable homes.

A racist, sexist bully is not welcome in Scotland even if he is US President

Wed 9 Nov, 2016

Responding to the election of Donald Trump as US President, Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"The election of a racist, sexist bully to the White House is profoundly depressing and will be ringing alarm bells across the world. Scots have been clear in their distaste for Trump and the First Minister has echoed those feelings.

Green MSP reacts to council decision to reject refugee detention centre

Tue 8 Nov, 2016

“Refugees and immigrants” are still the losers from today’s detention centre decision at Renfrewshire Council says a Green MSP.

Councillors in Paisley voted against a replacement for the notorious Dungavel detention centre, which was heavily criticised by civic Scotland for its inhumane treatment of detainees, to be built near Glasgow Airport.

Green MSP Ross Greer, who was at the demonstration outside the council’s headquarters, has vowed to continue campaigning for a fairer asylum policy, controlled by Holyrood.

It seems clear that fracking is doomed

Tue 8 Nov, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Energy & Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (8 Nov) said research into fracking published by the Scottish Government shows the risky drilling technique looks doomed.

Green MSPs led Holyrood's first debate on fracking in 2014, calling for a ban.

Today's reports identify a “gap in the regulations relating to decommissioning, aftercare and long-term well failure liabilities of onshore wells.”

The reports also state that if fracking goes ahead it will make meeting climate change targets in other areas harder.