Parties whose main objective is to break up the UK have again come together to form a “shambolic” budget deal.
It was confirmed today that the Greens would now give their support to the SNP through the remainder of the budget process, having abandoned a number of their earlier demands.
However, despite welcoming some changes included today like more funding for police, the Scottish Conservatives said the revised budget still fell short.
Finance secretary Kate Forbes said the extra commitments would be paid for from extra Barnett Consequentials from the UK Government, and a mystery “reprofiling” of business rates.
Doubt has also been cast on the suggestion the budget would guarantee free bus travel for teenagers, with the SNP saying it would merely “support preparations” for the scheme to introduce it “if possible”.
Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Donald Cameron said:
“While some of the measures announced today are to be welcomed, this budget still falls well short of what our economy and public services need.
“It’s no wonder that the SNP has yet again tricked the Greens into supporting the budget, which is now becoming an increasingly laughable and humiliating situation for Patrick Harvie.
“There’s no commitment to free bus travel for young people, as the Greens seem to naively think, and the Green party seems to have dropped almost every other demand it previously made.
“Unless the SNP government commits to no further divergence from UK tax rates and adds an extra £15.4 million for drug rehabilitation beds, as well as properly resourcing the capital allocation to local authorities, we cannot support this budget.
“The vague suggestion of ‘reprofiling’ business rates will also set alarm bells ringing in Scotland’s business community, and is something the finance secretary will have to provide clarity on.
“Everyone knew the pro-independence parties would leap back into bed together when it mattered – but the main losers of this shambolic coupling are people who rely on public services and businesses who keep our economy going.”