Patrick Harvie: SNP risks being remembered as ‘a timid government that caved-in to pressure from big business and sided with the Tories’

Written by Jenni Davidson on 21 October 2016 in News

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie says he will support the Scottish Government if it commits to “meaningful, progressive change”

Patrick Harvie - Image credit: Colin Hattersley Photography

The SNP risks being remembered as “a timid government that caved-in to pressure from big business and sided with the Tories”, according to Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie.

In a speech later today, Harvie is expected to say that the Scottish Government will not be able to continue to sit in the political centre and will soon have to choose between progressive support from the Greens or side with the right-wing Tories.

At the party’s autumn conference, which starts today in Perth Concert Hall, Harvie will say that action by Scottish Green MSPs has already influenced the government in areas such as fracking, fuel poverty and getting rid of benefits sanctions when welfare powers are devolved next year.


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He will also highlight the party’s success at this year’s Holyrood elections, with the number of MSPs increasing from two to six, and that the same can be achieved at next year’s local government elections.

Harvie said: “We recognise that a minority government must work toward some degree of consensus across parliament and I promise that our engagement with the SNP will always be constructive.

“The government missed a key opportunity to prove its progressive credentials by reforming the Council Tax and support Green proposals for a fairer alternative, but there will be many more tests to come, including on aviation policy, where it’s unthinkable that the First Minister could set a credible green agenda while backing Heathrow expansion and cutting Air Passenger Duty.

“So to the SNP, we will offer our support if they commit to meaningful, progressive change in Scotland, using the limited powers of the parliament; if they don't take that opportunity they risk being remembered as a timid government that caved-in to pressure from big business and sided with the Tories.”

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