Greens launch Highlands and Islands campaign

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The Scottish Green Party this week launched its Holyrood 2011 election campaign and announced its top candidate for the Highlands and Islands region‚ Eleanor Scott.

At a press conference and photo-call in Edinburgh, the Party also set out its three key campaign pledges: to keep tuition free, invest in public services through fairer taxation, and insulate every home in Scotland.

The Greens are standing a list of candidates in each of the eight Scottish Parliamentary regions, and the Party is once again urging voters to “second vote green”, including through social media.

Eleanor Scott, the Greens’ top candidate in the Highlands and Islands region said: “Across the Highlands and Islands region, your second vote can send me to Holyrood again as your Green MSP, to join the Green Group of MSPs and work to protect public services, ensure access for all to university, and to boost jobs and cut home energy costs. Because the Greens are only standing on the second vote, every Green vote will count on polling day.

“In the last session of the Scottish Parliament, Green MSPs played a key role and often held decisive votes, and they used these votes well ‚Äì helping to abolish tuition fees, securing millions for community environmental projects, and winning investment in marine renewables.

“Our first priority in the new Parliament will be to invest in public services, and to back this with fairer taxes on big business and the wealthiest. Unlike the other parties, each of which in turn has broken promises to students, we know where the money’s coming from to guarantee Scotland won’t return to tuition fees. We will also work to bring in a comprehensive free national insulation scheme at a cost of ¬£100million a year, to cut bills, boost jobs, and tackle climate change.”

Scottish Green Party Co-convenor Patrick Harvie added: “We need more MSPs who are prepared to stand up to the cuts agenda and ask big business and the richest to pay more. Holyrood should not just be simply passing on the Westminster cuts, as is currently the case.

“The other parties are complicit in the cuts agenda, and they have no alternative to the cuts. They seem to have a collective failure of will, of principle, and of the imagination. If we want to protect Scotland’s public services and economy, we must act now, and only a second vote for the Greens will elect MSPs who are ready to do so from day one of the next Scottish Parliament.”