Election 2016: Greens lay their plans for best ever Holyrood return

John Finnie MSP - leading the way for the Green Party in Moray
John Finnie MSP – leading the way for the Green Party in Moray

MORE GREEN MSPs would mean a ‘bolder’ Scottish Parliament that would take radical action to ensure Moray gets the homes and jobs it urgently needs.

That is the opening gambit from John Finnie MSP in launching his campaign for the forthcoming Scottish Government elections in May.

Mr Finnie kicked off his bid for re-election alongside the lead Scottish Greens candidates from all eight regional lists at Glasgow’s Òran Mór this week.

“Moray has a desperate need for sustainable jobs and warm, affordable homes – but we also have the ability to solve those problems,” said Mr Finnie, who currently serves as an independent MSP at Holyrood.

He added: “Scotland has one quarter of the European Union’s entire offshore wind and marine energy resource. There is huge potential to produce electricity in the Moray Firth, supported by high-quality engineering jobs at ports such as Buckie.

“Scotland can generate thousands of good jobs while we generate clean energy, but we need to take decisive action to be first into the race. We have an underemployed construction industry, with the skills to retrofit houses to end fuel poverty.

“As part of the Living Rent Campaign, Greens have already shown how rent controls can make our housing better and more affordable. Scotland can be a place where everyone can expect a warm and secure home, if our Parliament is determined to make it happen.

“Scotland can create Green jobs and good homes for all, and to do that we need Holyrood to be bold.

“There was no shortage of boldness at the Scottish Greens launch, and I can’t wait to work with all these brilliant candidates in Parliament, pushing Scotland forward.”

Mr Finnie pointed out that the Highlands and Islands have the fastest-rising rents in Scotland – while Moray is one of the top ten worst areas for extreme fuel poverty in the country, with 12% of households having to spend over a fifth of their income to keep warm.

Now with a membership that has surged to over 9000 since the independence referendum and a series of recent polls predicting a successful election the Greens hope to surpass their previous record of 7 MSPs.

The party also hope to send Isla O’Reilly to Holyrood as a second Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands. At the campaign launch Ms O’Reilly said: “This is the biggest campaign the Greens have ever run, and I’m really excited about the momentum that is already building around it.

“With John’s impeccable record as our local MSP, our great team of candidates and campaign organisers, hundreds of branch volunteers and canvassers already active across the Highlands and Islands, and our fresh, ambitious ideas for Scotland, we’re optimistic that May will see the election of a bolder, Greener Holyrood.”