Holyrood Palace planning application prompts questions of fairness & transparency

Andy Wightman MSP Fri 7 Jul

The Queen arrived at Holyrood Palace last weekend to the news that a planning application for ten short term letting apartments and an education centre together with other improvements to the Palace had been approved under delegated powers by officers of the City of Edinburgh Council. The developments on the Abbey Strand will displace a bookshop and stores currently occupied and operated by Historic Environment Scotland.

Wightman says Labour industrial strategy lacks vision

6 July, 2017 - 13:25

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman today (6 July) said what Labour have called their Scottish industrial strategy shows the party lacks vision.

The Greens pointed out that Labour chose to launch the publication at a warfare systems developer and the world's 9th biggest defence contractor.

Andy Wightman MSP, a member of Holyrood's Economy Committee, said:

Johnstone & Wightman urge independent review of governance of Musselburgh Racecourse

5 July, 2017 - 14:05

Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman, the Scottish Green MSPs for Lothian, are adding their weight to calls for an independent review of the governance of Musselburgh Racecourse amid a management crisis that is putting 150 local jobs at risk.

The East Lothian venue, which sits on Common Good land and has hosted horse racing since 1816, is set to lose its licence from the British Horseracing Authority over concerns at the way the business is run.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Johnstone welcomes Scot Gov comment on abortions for women from Northern Ireland

4 July, 2017 - 18:46

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, tonight (4 July) welcomed comments from the Scottish Government that it believes women from Northern Ireland should be able to access an abortion for free in Scotland.

According to a newspaper report, Scottish Ministers will "set out shortly how that can be achieved."

The issue was originally raised by Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie at First Minister's Questions last November, with Alison Johnstone writing to the public health minister seeking an update three weeks ago.

Greer hits out as Green Day gig staff go unpaid

4 July, 2017 - 16:28

Ross Greer MSP, Culture spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (4 July) hit out at the cancellation of the sell-out Green Day concert at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

The band’s promoters announced the cancellation at 1.30pm, just half an hour before the gates were due to open, blaming bad weather.

Hundreds of staff who had begun working at the gig were told over two hours in to their shift that they would not be paid.

Ross Greer MSP said:

Ruskell welcomes Holyrood inquiry into air pollution

4 July, 2017 - 11:00

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (4 July) welcomed news that Holyrood's Environment Committee is to conduct a major inquiry into air pollution, an issue he believes is a "public health crisis".

Mark led a Holyrood debate on the issue last month, highlighting the fact that the problem has worsened with the number of air quality management areas across Scotland rising to 38.

His member's bill which aims reduce the urban speed limit and cut air pollution is currently open to consultation.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

Johnstone urges Scot Gov to act on young people poverty report

3 July, 2017 - 13:18

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (3 July) urged the Scottish Government to act on the recommendations of its independent advisor on poverty, whose new report describes the gap between rich and poor young people as "deeply worrying", a "fundamental unfairness" and a "significant waste of talent and opportunity".

Naomi Eisenstadt's recommendations include:

Ruskell says Climate Change Bill is chance to set target for leaving oil & gas in the ground

30 June, 2017 - 13:23

Mark Ruskell MSP, Climate Change spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, responded to today's (30 June) launch of a government consultation on a new Climate Change Bill by calling for cross-party agreement to set a target for leaving oil and gas in the ground.

In the consultation, Scottish Ministers propose increasing Scotland's 2050 target of reducing climate change emissions by 90 per cent compared to 1990 levels, stretching the current target of 80 per cent.

Harvie hits out as Scot Gov assessment shows doubling of climate impact from Air Tax cut

30 June, 2017 - 09:23

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (30 June) hit out at the Scottish Government after its transport officials quietly published a revised assessment showing a doubling of the climate change emissions from the SNP's plan to cut Air Departure Tax.

Green attempts to amend the Air Departure Tax Bill were recently voted down by SNP and Tory MSPs.

Research for the Greens has shown that the SNP's plans will benefit wealthy frequent fliers and businesses rather than families, and will harm public finances and increase climate emissions. 

Welfare cuts report shows why we must do things differently

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 30 Jun

This week's Scottish Government report, highlighted by Patrick Harvie at First Minister's Questions, on the impact of UK welfare reforms makes for very sobering reading. It shows that a very large number of reforms – including, but not limited to the freeze on the value of benefits; the two-child limit on Child Tax Credits; the Benefit Cap; the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance for most claimants, and the Bedroom Tax – are removing thousands of pounds from Scottish households, many of them containing our very poorest and most vulnerable people.