We secure historic deal to protect council services

2 February, 2017 - 11:00

Ahead of this afternoon's Stage One vote at Holyrood on the Budget, the Scottish Greens can confirm that they have secured significant additional funds from the Scottish Government to protect local council services such as schools and social care.

Analysis by the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre, comparing last year's draft budget with this year's shows a drop in local authority funds. In discussions with ministers, Green MSPs proposed a range of ways to close the gap, including using new powers over income tax for high earners.

We continue to encourage the Scottish Government to give ground in time for tonight's budget vote

2 February, 2017 - 07:00

Ahead of Thursday’s Stage One vote on the budget, a spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said:

“This year’s draft budget proposes substantial and unacceptable cuts to local councils and Green MSPs have been in discussion with Scottish Ministers to close that gap. We have set out a range of ways in which Ministers can find additional funds to protect local services, one of which is using new powers over income tax to ensure that higher earners pay a little more.

Impact of Air Departure Tax is being ignored say greens

1 February, 2017 - 19:07

The Scottish Government’s new Air Departure Tax policy lacks any “robust analysis” and is therefore unlikely to be passed in parliament say the Greens.

Speaking after a meeting of Holyrood’s Finance and Constitution Committee, where evidence was taken from civil servants and airline bosses, Green MSP Patrick Harvie also said the government had “no clue” about the economic and environmental impact of its policy.

Finance and economy spokesperson, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

We won't close the attainment gap through education alone

1 February, 2017 - 10:48

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (1 Feb) urged caution as the Scottish Government announced details of its Pupil Equity Fund for head teachers.

Ross said:

“Scottish Ministers describe this money as additional but that’s just not true when they are proposing deep cuts to council budgets, where funding for our schools and teachers comes from. Head teachers shouldn’t have to act like Chief Financial Officers to get the funding and staffing their school needs.

Our priority is to ensure that schools are as safe as possible and trust between pupils and teachers is essential to that

31 January, 2017 - 17:27

Scottish Green MSPs today (31 Jan) welcomed confirmation from Education Secretary John Swinney that he won't give teachers powers to search pupils without consent, a counterproductive proposal which would risk a breakdown of trust between teachers and pupils.

It follows a report into the killing of Aberdeen schoolboy Bailey Gwynne, who was stabbed by a fellow pupil in 2015. The report asked the Scottish Government to consider amending the law in relation to searching pupils.

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

Review of law must prevent hunting with dogs

31 January, 2017 - 17:20

Scottish Green MSPs say today's Scottish Government announcement of a review of how fox hunts are monitored must strengthen the law to prevent hunting with dogs.

The government is to consult on a code of practice for hunts, explore the potential for a new monitoring scheme, and consult on proposed changes to legislation.

It follows last year's review by Lord Bonomy, which recommended increased monitoring.

In 2015, surveillance of five of Scotland’s ten hunts suggested that they were routinely ignoring legislation.

Greens call for public to take part in fracking consultation

31 January, 2017 - 16:29

Communities throughout Scotland concerned about fracking must take part in the government’s consultation on the hazardous extraction practice say the Greens.

UK Government must act; asylum accommodation is a “disgrace"

31 January, 2017 - 09:50

Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (31 Jan) urged the UK Government to act after a report concluded that the state of asylum accommodation provided by Government contractors is a “disgrace”.

The report by Westminster's Home Affairs Committee says it is “shameful” that very vulnerable people have been placed in vermin-infested, unclean accommodation and that there is inadequate support, for example for pregnant women.

Edinburgh Airport consultation "pointless" given strong opposition to expansion

30 January, 2017 - 15:16

Scottish Green MSPs say the launch of a further wave of consultation by Edinburgh Airport is "pointless" given the strong public opposition to expansion plans.

Green MSPs Alison Johnstone, Andy Wightman and Mark Ruskell have been contacted by concerned residents across Lothian region and Fife, as changes to flight routes would negatively affect many communities.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

Greens want action to avoid North Sea leak repeat

29 January, 2017 - 12:16

A gas well leak in the North Sea must see the Scottish Government “accelerate” the transition away from fossil fuels say the Greens

The party’s energy and environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP says the government’s energy strategy should include policies that help employ workers in “low carbon industries of the future” and avoid repeats of the leak from the Elgin B platform.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP, Mark Ruskell said: