Greens win backing for more powers for SSPCA

Tue 11 Feb, 2020

The SSPCA could be set to get more powers to tackle wildlife crime, after a Holyrood committee backed proposals by Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell as part of evidence on the Animals and Wildlife Bill.

The Scottish animal protection charity currently only has the power to collect evidence on crime against domestic animals, but MSPs on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee have recommended the Scottish Government explores ways to expand these powers to cover wildlife.

Research exposes draft budget climate credentials as spin

Tue 11 Feb, 2020

The SNP’s ‘climate emergency’ budget is carbon-intensive and ignores expert advice on Transport policy, independent analysis from parliamentary researchers has shown.

In its budget analysis, Scottish Parliament information centre (SPICE) figures show that ministers have ignored the recent Infrastructure Commission, which advised them to shift spending away from new roads and into measures to encourage fewer private car journeys.

The Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity budget is 7% of the total spend, but will account for 11% of Scotland’s emissions.

Cruel cap on benefits must end

Fri 7 Feb, 2020

Scottish Greens have today called for the UK Government to end a controversial cap on benefits, as figures showed over 3,364 Scots families are having their social security entitlements cut.

Regardless of the needs of individual families, the Benefit Cap places an overall ceiling on the amount a household can receive in support from the UK Government. UK-wide figures show that the average loss is £51 a week.

The cap is particularly likely to hit households with children, with 93% of cases involving children, and 72% being single-parent households.

Timid budget fails to tackle climate emergency

Thu 6 Feb, 2020

The Scottish Government’s budget, as published this afternoon, fails to adequately respond to the climate emergency, according to Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP.

Scottish Greens have made a number of constructive proposals, which would protect local services and begin to tackle the climate crisis, unfortunately the Scottish Government have so far failed to engage in constructive negotiations to deliver the transformative change required.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

Finnie labels Transport Strategy 'meaningless drivel'

Wed 5 Feb, 2020

The new Transport Strategy for Scotland lacks any vision and commitment needed for an emergency response, the Scottish Greens have warned.

While acknowledging the climate emergency and the devastating impact of air pollution, the document offers little in the way of policy to address them.

The Scottish Greens have proposed cutting back on the billions spent on road expansions to boost public transport, inlcuding providing free bus travel for Scotland's young people.

SNP rejection of Period Poverty Bill unacceptable

Wed 5 Feb, 2020

Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman has criticised SNP MSPs who rejected proposals to provide a statutory right to free sanitary products to women.

SNP MSPs on the Local Government and Communities Committee refused to back Monica Lennon’s Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, despite claiming to support its aims.

Commenting, Scottish Green communities spokesperson Andy Wightman, who sits on the committee, said:

Greens win greater protections for biometric data

Tue 4 Feb, 2020

Scottish Greens Justice Spokesperson John Finnie MSP today secured support for an amendment to the Scottish Biometrics Commissioner Bill which adds greater protections for data held by the police.

The Bill creates the position of Biometrics Commissioner who will provide independent oversight of police use of biometric data, including by creating a code of practice.

The original drafting of the Bill would have required police simply to “have regard” to the code of practice but following Mr Finnie’s amendment they will now be required to “comply” with the code.

NHS Lothian must receive its fair share of funding

Tue 4 Feb, 2020

The Scottish Government must ensure that NHS Lothian, Scotland’s second largest health board, covering the highest growing area of the country, receives its fair share of NHS funding, according to Scottish Greens Health Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP.

The Lothian MSP raised the matter in parliament this afternoon, noting that the board received £11.6 million less than it should have under the NRAC funding.[1]

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Government’s own climate exercise reveals support for Green policies

Mon 3 Feb, 2020

The Scottish Government’s own consultation on the climate emergency has revealed widespread support for Scottish Green policies ahead of SNP positions.

The Big Climate Conversation engaged over 2,500 people in Scotland about the government’s response to tackling the global climate emergency.

Andy Wightman local taxation proposal backed by major thinktanks

Sun 2 Feb, 2020

Proposals from Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman to devolve powers over non-domestic rates to councils have been backed by two major think tanks in Scotland.

Commonweal and Reform Scotland both support Wightman’s amendments to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill, which will be voted on next week.