LIVING WAGE RESEARCH SUPPORTS ECONOMY FOR PEOPLE

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Scottish Greens are welcoming new research showing that people in Scotland are the most conscious of the £7.85 per hour Living Wage, and that across the UK seven out of ten adults would choose to shop in a Living Wage-accredited store.lIVING wAGE gRAPHIC

The Scottish Greens, who for the first time are standing in the majority of Scotland’s Westminster constituencies, want to raise the adult minimum wage of £6.50 an hour to a single Living Wage for all ages of £7.85, and for that to rise to £10 an hour by 2020.

Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

“Some big, highly-profitable businesses continue to pay poverty wages, which need to be topped up by billions from the public purse. No-one should have to work in a job that also leaves them in poverty.

“Greens want to see the minimum wage lifted to the Living Wage immediately so we can start to repair the inequality presided over by the Conservatives and Libdems. Lifting wages would be good for business as it sends customers the right message, and it makes employees happier and more productive, and it’s good for workers as it gives them money in their pocket which in turn benefits the local economy.

“The Living Wage is clearly an idea whose time has arrived. Let’s build on that to help realise Scotland’s potential.”

 

Attitudes and awareness towards the Living Wage are on the up (KPMG)

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

Scottish Greens briefing on economy and jobs

 

Lifting wages would be good for business as it sends customers the right message, and it makes employees happier and more productive, and it's good for workers as it gives them money in their pocket which in turn benefits the local economy.
Patrick Harvie MSP

OUR GREEN JOBS PLAN

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Scottish Greens will today (24 April) highlight their General Election jobs plan as the party’s co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP visits an insulation firm in Stirling.Mark Ruskell 2015

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, are pledging to tackle poverty, put public services in public hands and deliver more powers to Scotland and communities. Party membership has surged to almost 9,000.

On the need for Green Industrialisation, the Scottish Green manifesto calls for:

-A transition to a jobs-rich economy which respects the environment.
-Investment in the homes, transport and energy we need for a low-carbon future.
-The world’s most ambitious home energy e?ciency programme, slashing energy bills and carbon emissions, creating thousands of jobs and helping end the fuel poverty crisis.
-Sustainable expansion in industries such as quality food production, clean chemical sciences, digital and creative industries, medical and life sciences.
-Support for independent small retail, tourism and sports, waste reuse and recycling, shipbuilding, textiles and design.
-Direct employee involvement in management, product development and innovation.
-Investment in marine renewables to use the skills, engineering expertise and wealth of natural resources around our shores.
-Support for sustainable City Deals.

Speaking ahead of today’s visit to Superglass, the UK’s only independent manufacturer of glass wool insulation, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said:

“Small and medium-sized businesses and their workers are being held back as politicians in the Westminster bubble talk of a time of scarcity and a need for cuts, when the reality is big businesses and rich individuals are dodging taxes and not paying their fair share. We need an economy that has people at the centre, and we need to see more support for a low-carbon future, with more focus on Scotland’s diverse independent business base.

“Electing more Green MPs would ensure a greater emphasis on investment in sustainable sectors and local employment so we all have a chance of experiencing real recovery.”

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MP candidate for Stirling, said:

“The insulation sector should be creating thousands of jobs while lifting millions out of fuel poverty, but it has been crippled by weak, uncertain and unambitious programmes coming from the Tory-LibDem government. Green policies to slash VAT on housing refurbishment while insulating 9 million homes across the UK would secure jobs here in Stirling for the long term.”

 

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

Scottish Greens briefing on economy and jobs

Green policies to slash VAT on housing refurbishment while insulating 9 million homes across the UK would secure jobs here in Stirling for the long term.
MarkRuskell

OUR PLEDGES TO SUPPORT STUDENTS AND YOUNG SCOTS

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

As the National Union of Students National Conference takes place in Liverpool (21–23 April) Scottish Greens are highlighting manifesto pledges to invest in education, support students and improve young people’s wages.Education graphic

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, are pledging a £10 minimum wage for all ages by 2020, publicly-owned railways, opposition to TTIP, and more powers for Scotland and local communities.

A youth manifesto produced by the Scottish Young Greens pledges to:

-Allow students who study at UK universities to stay and use their education in Britain by reinstating the post-study work visa.
-Increase the minimum wage for apprentices, which is currently just £3.30 an hour, to a living wage of £7.85 immediately and £10 by 2020.
-Maintain free university tuition in Scotland and end tuition fees in England and Wales.
-Oppose any moves to reduce benefits available to young people under the age of 25.
-Remove the punishing benefit sanctions regime.
-Abolish the Bedroom Tax and Workfare.

Membership of the Scottish Greens has surged to almost 9,000. The Scottish Young Greens – aged 16 to 30 – now number over 3,000.

Zara Kitson, Scottish Green MP candidate in Glasgow North and a member of the Scottish Young Greens, said:

“Education is one of the most important public goods – access should not be based on ability to pay. By electing Scottish Green MPs we can help colleagues south of the border win the argument for free university tuition, and we can help those from abroad who choose to study in Scotland stay in Scotland for work.

“We also strongly support vocational learning, and want to see the minimum wage for apprentices raised from the current paltry £3.30 an hour to a living wage and for that to rise to £10 an hour by 2020. Let’s also support our colleges and universities as they invest in research and innovation to create new jobs and businesses for my generation and those who follow.”

 

Scottish Young Greens 2015 Manifesto

 

By electing Scottish Green MPs we can help colleagues south of the border win the argument for free university tuition, and we can help those from abroad who choose to study in Scotland stay in Scotland for work.
Zara Kitson

Happy John Muir Day - Our Environmental Pledges.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

HAPPY JOHN MUIR DAY!

To celebrate the birth of the Scottish Environmentalist John Muir, we are offering you a manifesto special for our environmental pledges. The world-famous conservationist and founder of the National Parks movement will long be remembered for his inspirational writing and love for Scottish wilderness, a heritage we must preserve for the next generation.

Renewables graphic

 

While we welcome the recent Moratorium in Fracking that was the result of activists and MSP Alison Johnstone extreme dedication, Green MPs in Westminster would call for a complete ban on fracking or unconventional gas extraction throughout the UK. Alison reminded us that the Greens are the only party to bring environmental issues to the forefront in their manifesto: “Returning more Green MPs would send a strong message that the UK is serious about showing leadership on climate change, pursuing sustainable jobs and protecting the environment that our economy relies on. All too often we see UK Governments ignoring their responsibility to protect our seas, our wildlife and our food chains. And we need stronger voices on fossil fuel decommissioning and divestment.”

In order to achieve this vision of preserving the planet for a future generation, Green MPs would, among other things, call for:

-Support for local councils to create local energy companies to build publicly-owned renewables.
-A global deal to reduce carbon emissions and deliver climate justice for communities in the global south.
-A transition to a jobs-rich economy which respects the environment.
-Investment of millions of pounds in Green industrialisation.
-Sustainable expansion in industries such as quality food production, clean chemical sciences, digital and creative industries, medical and life sciences.
-Protection of Scotland’s landscapes, seascapes and wildlife to preserve biodiversity and retain value for tourism.
-Acknowledgement of the need to keep most of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground to meet climate change responsibilities.
-Promote Scotland as the world centre of decommissioning the fossil fuel industry.
-Investment in marine renewables.
-European funding for agriculture and fishing to be directed towards sustainable land management and long-term fish stock recovery.

Jason Rose, Scottish Green MP candidate for East Lothian, added: “John Muir is rightly celebrated for the environmental protections he achieved in the States, and in East Lothian we’ve long been proud of his legacy. Given the huge threat faced by humans and wildlife from climate change it’s never been more important to have sustainability at the heart of political policies.” That is why we are asking you to Vote Green on May 7th, in the hope of showing establishment parties that the public do care about the environment and want to see greater commitment to it in Politics.

For more information on our candidates and to read our manifesto, please follow the link here.

 

"All too often we see UK Governments ignoring their responsibility to protect our seas, our wildlife and our food chains." Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothians
Alison Johnstone MSP

Vote Scottish Greens to challenge the SNP and make them bolder

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Alison small pic

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothians

Today’s manifesto launch by the SNP shows there remains a clear difference in ambition between the Greens and the SNP, with only a Green vote standing up to the threat of fracking and the TTIP trade deal, and delivering a real living wage and publicly-owned railways.

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, are pledging a £10 minimum wage for all ages by 2020, publicly-owned railways, opposition to the TTIP trade deal, and more powers for Scotland and local communities. Lothians MSP Alison Johnstone explained that: “In this incredibly exciting election, following five years of unnecessary cuts, we need bold ideas to transform our communities. On some issues we can see that the SNP are on the right track but lack the clarity and ambition that the Scottish Greens provide.”

Alison also explained what the Greens could contribute on these issues: “On the minimum wage rather than increasing it by pennies we need to get it up to a decent level in the coming years so no-one is forced to work in a job that leaves them in poverty. On the TTIP trade deal rather than picking and choosing aspects we should be saying no to the whole corporate power grab, and on fracking we need to see a moratorium become a permanent ban so we can end this dangerous distraction and focus on a sustainable energy policy instead.”

But the difference is larger than just a few policies, it’s a question of ambition for a Scotland where all have an opportunity to flourish. The Scottish Greens, whose membership has surged to almost 9,000, remain the only party truly committed to having an economy that puts people ahead of profit.

For more information on our candidates and to read our manifesto, please follow the link here.

 

On the TTIP trade deal rather than picking and choosing aspects we should be saying no to the whole corporate power grab, and on fracking we need to see a moratorium become a permanent ban so we can end this dangerous distraction and focus on a sustainable energy policy instead.
Alison Johnstone MSP

GREENS BACK UNIONS OPPOSING TTIP; CALL FOR MORE WORKERS' RIGHTS

Monday, April 20th, 2015

As the Scottish Trades Union annual congress gets underway today (Mon 20 April) Scottish Greens are highlighting their manifesto pledges to improve workers’ rights and oppose the TTIP trade deal that threatens jobs and wages.

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, are pledging a £10 minimum wage for all ages by 2020, publicly-owned railways, opposition to TTIP, and more powers for Scotland and local communities.

The party manifesto calls for anti-trade union laws to be rolled back, employee participation on company boards, the right for employees to buy out their company, and for an end to zero hours contracts.

Membership of the Scottish Greens has surged to almost 9,000. One in ten members is ex-Labour.

Scottish Green Party co-convener Councillor Maggie Chapman said:

“In too many workplaces we see pay inequality and poor treatment of employees. Employees should be directly involved in the direction of their business to improve its performance and should have the legal right to buy out the company if necessary.

“We need to roll back anti-trade union laws so workers can demonstrate support for protesting colleagues without fear of being penalised. And we need to see strong opposition to the TTIP trade deal between the EU and the US which threatens to drive down wages and slash jobs. Scottish Greens already work closely with the trade unions and we look forward to building on those relationships.”

(Ends)

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

 

We need to see strong opposition to the TTIP trade deal between the EU and the US which threatens to drive down wages and slash jobs.
Cllr Maggie Chapman, Scottish Greens Co-convenor

OUR HEALTH PLEDGES TO TACKLE INEQUALITIES

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Scottish Greens are highlighting key manifesto pledges aimed at tackling Scotland’s health inequalities.IMG_4812

People in the most deprived areas of Scotland are more likely to suffer from poor health and die earlier compared with people in affluent areas.

Key manifesto pledges that would tackle health inequalities include:

-Lifting incomes with policies such as a £10 minimum wage for all by 2020.
-Legislation to bring in Health Inequality Impact Assessments for all significant government policies.
-The creation of a Healthy Challenge Fund to empower communities in the same way as the hugely successful Climate Challenge Fund. The fund could be used to develop healthy eating, walking and cycling projects.

The Scottish Greens are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats. Party membership has surged to almost 9,000.

Glasgow councillor, Dr Martin Bartos, Scottish Green MP candidate for Glasgow North, said:

“Given the huge range of issues contributing to health inequalities, we need a joined up strategy between Scottish and Westminster parliaments and local authorities – that’s what the Scottish Greens prescribe. We want to see all major decisions at every level assessed for impact on health inequality.

“We also want to see a community-led approach so that local challenges are tackled through locally inspired projects in the same way the Climate Challenge Fund the Greens helped set up has helped so many communities reduce their carbon footprint.

“Caroline Lucas has shown that electing Green MPs would mean electing strong voices who would speak out for better incomes and against privatisation of health and social services; MPs who make the link between our social environment and good health.”

 

Scottish Green Party briefing on health inequalities

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

Caroline Lucas has shown that electing Green MPs would mean electing strong voices who would speak out for better incomes and against privatisation of health and social services; MPs who make the link between our social environment and good health.
Martin Bartos

END ARMS TRADE - SCOTTISH GREENS JOIN VIGIL

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Scottish Greens will today (16 April) highlight the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, joining a Campaign Against the Arms Trade vigil in Edinburgh.Alison small pic

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, launched their manifesto two weeks ago with pledges of a £10 minimum wage for all ages by 2020, publicly-owned railways, opposition to the TTIP trade deal, and more powers for Scotland and local communities.

The manifesto calls for a foreign policy based on peace, a global deal on climate change and a halt to the arms trade.

Membership of the Scottish Greens has surged to almost 9,000. One in ten members is ex-Labour.

Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone said:

“The widespread opposition we’ve seen in Scotland to the renewal of Trident is symbolic of the desire to stop spending billions of pounds on military hardware while communities here and overseas suffer from poverty.

“We have a real opportunity to reskill military workers to address modern defence priorities, peacekeeping and humanitarian work. With more Green MPs there’s more chance of diverting some of the UK’s annual £43 billion military budget towards protecting our public services and creating good jobs in our communities.”

 

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

 

We have a real opportunity to reskill military workers to address modern defence priorities, peacekeeping and humanitarian work.
Alison Johnstone MSP

Peter McColl backs fast food workers' rights

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Peter McColl demonstrates with fast food workers outside McDonalds in Glasgow. Photo: Walton Pantland

Peter McColl demonstrates with fast food workers outside McDonalds in Glasgow.
Photo: Walton Pantland

Green candidate Peter McColl today joined workers outside McDonald’s in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, to demand higher wages and union rights as part of a global day of action for the rights of employees in the fast food industry.

The demands of the Fast Food Rights campaign – a £10 minimum wage, the right to union bargaining, and an end to zero-hour contracts – featured prominently in the Scottish Greens’ manifesto, published last month.

Strikes and demonstrations are also taking place today in 200 cities in 30 countries, including across the United States where the movement began.

Peter is the Green candidate for Edinburgh East, our top Scottish target constituency. He said.

“Fast food workers are among the most exploited in this economy. Despite making colossal profits for their corporate employers, fast food workers are expected to suffer unpredictable work at poverty wages while being treated as disposable and denied any say in their working conditions.

“The demands of these workers are the same as the Scottish Greens’ priorities for the coming parliament – a £10 minimum wage, the right to union bargaining, and an end to zero-hour contracts.

“This is a modest demand for every worker to be treated with respect and dignity. It is shameful that so many thousands of workers across Scotland and the UK are denied that respect, while corporate profits soar.

“Because of the aggressive anti-union tactics used both by the fast food companies and successive governments, these workers are standing up for their rights today with little or no protection from reprisals. I am humbled by their courage and proud to stand with them.

“Today has been an inspiring reminder of what I and other Green candidates are standing for, and what we will be fighting for every day if elected on May 7th.”

The demands of these workers are the same as the Scottish Greens' priorities for the coming parliament - a £10 minimum wage, the right to union bargaining, and an end to zero-hour contracts.
Peter McColl

LIBDEMS TRYING TO WISH AWAY 5 YEARS OF CUTS

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Scottish Greens say today’s manifesto launch by the Libdems is nothing more than an attempt to wish away the last five years’ worth of austerity cuts that have worsened inequality and damaged the economy.Isla O'Reilly

The Scottish Greens, who are standing in the majority of Scotland’s 59 seats, launched their manifesto two weeks ago with pledges of a £10 minimum wage for all ages by 2020, publicly-owned railways and opposition to the TTIP trade deal, and more powers for Scotland and local communities.

Membership of the Scottish Greens has surged to almost 9,000, well ahead of the Scottish Libdems’ 2,800. In last year’s European election the Scottish Greens beat the Libdems in 21 of the 32 council areas, polling 13,000 more votes across Scotland.

Ross Greer, Scottish Green MP candidate in East Dunbartonshire, said:

“The Libdems have spent the past five years cheerleading the Tories’ austerity agenda and now they’re trying to wish away all those cuts that have done so much damage in our communities. Rather than raising the personal allowance which gives everyone including the wealthiest more money in their pocket we need to see a higher minimum wage for those on low pay and we need a wealth tax on those with assets worth millions.

“To hear the Libdems talk of a low carbon economy shows they haven’t a clue what this looks like. They, like other parties, have bent over backwards to give bungs to the oil industry and they are pro-fracking. The need for a transition towards clean technology and jobs in new sectors has never been clearer, and that’s why electing more Green MPs is so important.”

Isla O’Reilly, Scottish Green MP candidate in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, said:

“The Libdems have little credibility left and they have nothing to say about protecting the public services that we all rely on, and which have been eroded by the government they’ve been a part of. They’re still failing to address the real cause of the economic crash, the banking system, and I have no doubt they will pay the price for presiding over an economy where foodbanks are rife and where communities remain deprived.”

 

Scottish Greens 2015 manifesto and candidates

 

I have no doubt they will pay the price for presiding over an economy where foodbanks are rife and where communities remain deprived.
Isla O'Reilly