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Wednesday, April 14, 1999 Published at 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK


Scottish Green Party



The Scottish Green Party says it is contesting the Scottish Parliamentary elections on a broad range of issues.

The party, which is distinct from the Green Party in England, says health, education and housing will have equal priority alongside the traditional green polices on the environment.

Scottish Greens

Essentials
The Scottish Green Party is standing candidates on the regional lists only. At the launch of the manifesto "Caring for Scotland" on 9 April, the party said voters could use their second vote to support policies which focus on Scotland's people and their environment.

Health
The party says a new National Health Service should be created to replace the "National Sickness Service" in place at present. It says Green MSPs will focus on health promotion and will seek to double the budget for health education. It opposes private finance initiatives and wants local authorities to have powers currently held by health boards.

Economy
Scottish Greens say economic development agencies must put more effort into encouraging local enterprise. The party says the new parliament should have powers to set up a Basic Income Scheme to "end the poverty trap" and simplify social security. It will promote pollution and energy taxes.

Transport
The party says schemes which promote walking, cycling and public transport form the centre of its transport policy. It wants to see the Scottish Roads Directorate replaced with a Scottish Transport Department, setting new targets for traffic reduction.

Scottish Greens say they will seek new rail transport powers as part of a national transport policy and effort would be put into restoring services in "poorly served" areas including the Borders and Highlands.

Environment
Scottish Greens say they advocate measures to protect the Scottish and global environment. They want tougher pollution controls for air, land and water and new powers allowing the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to take direct action against polluters.

The party says it will campaign for a Scottish Renewable Energy Commission and improved energy efficiency measures in homes. It wants a ban on the growing of genetically modified food, a national target for organic farming and the creation of an independent Scottish Food Department.

Education
Scottish Greens advocate free education for all. They call for the abolition of student tuition fees, reductions in class sizes and the development of schools as resources for the whole community.

Nationalism
Scottish Greens say the Holyrood parliament should also mean the devolving of powers to communities. They pledge to support a referendum for "greater Scottish independence".

Europe
The party says it will work with Green MPs throughout Europe to promote environmentally-friendly initiatives. It will campaign against "rigid and wasteful" fishing quotas and for new standards of farm animal welfare. The party also calls for a shift in farm subsidy payments from production to supporting jobs.

Housing
The party says it will campaign for a new home energy efficiency standard, supported by an eight-year programme of investment in housing and new measures to prevent houses remaining empty.

Miscellaneous

The party calls for the introduction of a land tax as the local authority tax, promoting "appropriate use" of land and improving the whole environment. It wants new rights for disabled people in using public transport and a national communicaton plan for Gaelic, Scots and "new Scottish languages".



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