We must do more to mitigate the effects of the benefit cap

Alison Johnstone MSP Fri 1 Sep, 2017

The schools are back and a new session of Parliament beckons. While most people will have had a break with family and friends, summer isn't such an enjoyable time for all. Many families face the extra cost of meals and activities which would usually be provided at school.

Last July and August, Trussell Trust UK provided 4,412 more three-day emergency food parcels for children than during the previous two months. 27% of these went to children younger than 4, including newborns, and I fear that we will see similar numbers this year.

Greens raise doubt over First Minister's economy plans

Thu 31 Aug, 2017

The ‘economic growth’ the First Minister today claimed to be planning for Scotland cannot be allowed to jeopardize the goal of building a fairer and greener country say the Scottish Greens.

Patrick Harvie, the party’s finance and economy spokesperson, says the Scottish Government, led by a party which has been “treading water”, would do well to look at Green plans for over 200,000 new jobs.

Our analysis shows UK Gov Benefit Cap affecting 11,000 children in Scotland

Thu 31 Aug, 2017

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (31 Aug) published analysis showing that the UK Government's new Benefit Cap is affecting 11,000 children in Scotland, and has led to a 400 per cent increase in the number of households affected.

Alison is urging the Scottish Government to use devolved powers to mitigate the policy, in the same way that the Bedroom Tax was mitigated.

Park of Keir decision made to appease celebrities say Greens

Wed 30 Aug, 2017

Responding to the news that the Scottish Government intends to grant planning permission in principle for a proposed luxury housing development, tennis and golf centre at Park of Keir in Dunblane, Mark Ruskell, a local Green MSP who gave evidence at the public enquiry, said:

Johnstone welcomes launch of campaign for £5 a week top-up of Child Benefit

Wed 30 Aug, 2017

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (30 Aug) welcomed the launch of the Give Me Five campaign, which calls for a £5 a week top-up of Child Benefit to lift 30,000 children out of poverty.

A top-up was called for in the Scottish Greens' 2016 Holyrood election manifesto, and has been a consistent priority from Alison Johnstone.

Harvie tells Glasgow event Basic Income is an idea whose time has come

Tue 29 Aug, 2017

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will today (29 Aug) tell a major event in Glasgow discussing the growing interest in Universal Basic Income that it is an idea whose time has come.

The longstanding Green policy of a basic payment for all, coupled with progressive taxation, aims to cut poverty and support people with part-time jobs or caring responsibilities. Trials are underway in Finland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Budget cuts to blame for school counselling shortages say Greens

Mon 28 Aug, 2017

A report published today by the BBC showing the extent to which children across Scotland don’t have access to counselling is, say the Scottish greens, proof of “years of cutting council budgets”.

The party’s education spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP also says the government must consider the report’s findings as part of its review into Personal and Social Education.

Don't let tax cuts for frequent flyers take off

Patrick Harvie MSP Fri 25 Aug, 2017

Summer, such as it is, nears an end; politicians are gearing up for a return to debating chambers around the country. Councillors have returned already, sadly including the racist and sectarian ones whose leader Ruth Davidson seems to regard their voting numbers as more important than any principle. Holyrood and Westminster will start their business again at the start of September. Not before time.

Overwhelming Support For Child Protection Proposal

Thu 24 Aug, 2017

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (24 Aug) welcomed the overwhelming support for his proposed Member’s Bill to give children Equal Protection from assault.

Tory MP condemned by Green MSP for gypsy travellers comments

Wed 23 Aug, 2017

John Finnie MSP, Justice spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (23 Aug) condemned comments by Tory MP Douglas Ross.

In an online interview, Mr Ross is asked what he would do if he were Prime Minister for a day, to which he replies: "Tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers."

It follows condemnation of the Tories by the Greens earlier this week after two Conservative councillors suspended for online abuse and racist comments were readmitted to Ruth Davidson's party.