To start on a positive note, I was extremely pleased to see West Dunbartonshire Council commit to delivering a “no cuts budget” for the second year in succession.

With years of cuts imposed by the SNP government in Edinburgh, local councils have had a very unenviable task of trying to balance the books and I applaud the council administration and officials for looking into every way possible on how to raise revenue and ensure that budgets will be spared cuts.

Our communities have born the brunt of cuts after cuts from the SNP government, who have not made the most of an increased budget from Westminster and have chosen local authorities as their main target for where cuts would be passed onto.

However, as we hear from COSLA, the local government body, the SNP’s recently announced budget is going to put pressure on local authorities to make cuts outwith projects imposed on them by SNP centrally, with a £95million reduction in core budgets.

That is when council tax bills may have to rise above inflation, or budgets for some services might have to be expensed in favour of others.

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As the Scottish Conservative shadow environment secretary, it was welcome to see a significant increase in budgets to help tackle climate change, but the cuts to local authorities could mean pressures on services, like rural recycling centres.

What an irony that would be for the SNP to declare a climate emergency but then fail to provide local authorities with enough money so that local people living remotely will be able to recycle properly.

In addition, Social Security Scotland’s costs have doubled, meaning the cost of setting up Scotland’s new social security system has risen to £651m. SNP ministers had put the cost at £307m just three years ago to create the agency for the devolution of new welfare powers.

Having spent years criticising the UK Government over welfare policy, the SNP is now finding out just how hard it is to deliver a fair and affordable benefits system. Under the SNP, devolution of some benefits have been delayed until 2024 and now set-up costs are spiralling.

All too often this SNP government delivers a pay more and get less budget.