Free movement of people must be “redline” issue warns Green MSP

Wed 14 Sep, 2016

The Scottish Government must make the free movement of people from the UK to the EU, and vice versa, a redline issue in Brexit negotiations with the Westminster government according to a Green MSP.

Ross Greer MSP told the Scottish Parliament that if a free movement guarantee could not be given by the Conservative government, then Scotland must urgently consider seeking its own, independent EU membership.

On Additional Support Needs, parents must be listened to

Wed 14 Sep, 2016

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today highlighted the need to prioritise Additional Support Needs in the effort to close the attainment gap.

At today's meeting of Holyrood's Education Committee, Mr Greer drew attention to figures showing an Additional Support Needs ‘postcode lottery’, with neighbouring local authorities recording very different proportions of pupils receiving help.

Rather than leaving housing to industry, we must intervene

Tue 13 Sep, 2016

Andy Wightman MSP, Housing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, used today's Holyrood debate on housing to urge Scottish Ministers to stop developers inflating the cost of land.

The Green amendment for today's debate - not selected by the Presiding Officer - highlighted the fact that land values rise when infrastructure is built or planning permission is given, and by capturing this value, more and better homes can be built.

Small-scale farmers & organic producers need certainty

Tue 13 Sep, 2016

Mark Ruskell MSP, Food & Farming spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today urged Scottish Ministers to end the uncertainty facing farmers who carry out environmentally-sustainable practices.

In response to a question in Parliament from Mr Ruskell on continuing delays to Common Agricultural Policy payments, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing claimed that providing certainty over "agri-environment" payments was "literally impossible" due to lack of clarity from the UK Government in light of the Brexit vote.

Ideas for new Climate Change Bill crowdsourced by Greens

Tue 13 Sep, 2016

The Scottish Green Party is seeking the views of members of the public on what should be included in forthcoming changes to Scotland’s climate laws.

In 2014, pressure from Green MSPs meant that the Scottish Government declared energy efficient housing a national investment priority and now with a minority government in power, the Green group is aiming to prevent cuts to this and other vital schemes that can tackle climate change.

Developing Park of Keir would be inappropriate

Mon 12 Sep, 2016

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, is today (12 Sep) expected to give evidence at the public inquiry into a controversial sports and luxury housing complex on protected greenbelt land at Park of Keir between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.

The development which has been fronted by Judy Murray and Colin Montgomerie was rejected by Stirling Council last year. As a local councillor and MSP, Mr Ruskell has supported local communities who have fought varying development proposals since the early 1990s.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

Welfare win ends successful week for Greens at Holyrood

Sun 11 Sep, 2016

The new Green group of MSPs wasted no time getting to work this week, celebrating three big wins in the Scottish Parliament.

Let's lock tax dodgers out from all forms of public support

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 9 Sep, 2016

Tax avoidance is nothing new. For as long as there have been taxes levied, there have always been people willing to jump through every loophole they can find to avoid paying their fair share. It’s unlikely that any tax system will ever be perfect, and the problem has grown as the financial and business environment has become ever more complex.

Commitment to listen to Named Person practitioners is welcome

Thu 8 Sep, 2016

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today welcomed a statement in Parliament from Deputy First Minister John Swinney on the Named Person scheme.

A Supreme Court judgement in July confirmed that providing a named person for every child does not breach human rights but asked for clarity around information-sharing provisions.

Greer says Dungavel replacement must treat people humanely

Thu 8 Sep, 2016

Green MSP Ross Greer says Dungavel’s replacement building in Renfrewshire should not be a carbon copy of the original South Lanarkshire facility.

With the detention centre due to close next year, Greer is now keen for the focus to be on the UK government shifting to a more “humane” immigration outlook.