A government’s budget tells you a lot about its priorities.

The UK Government has slashed spending on essential public services and gone instead for tax cuts. That’s had a huge effect on the size of Scotland’s budget, which is largely set by Westminster.

There is no hiding how challenging life is for people across Scotland right now thanks to the actions of the Tories at Westminster.

Despite that, the Scottish Government is using the levers available to it to protect those struggling during this cost-of-living crisis.

For our part, the Scottish Greens have ensured that Scotland’s budget puts people and planet first.

From investing an additional £1billion in anti-poverty measures like the Scottish Child Payment to record investment in climate and nature projects, this budget will build a fairer, greener Scotland.

The UK Government has shown their utter contempt for our planet, as shown by their approval of new oil and gas fields and ditching their few positive environmental policies.

We will be judged for decades to come on the efforts we make right now to tackle the climate crisis. That’s why it is right that in Scotland we have committed to spend a record £4.7bn on climate and nature initiatives next year.

This money will create new job opportunities across the country, building on the good news from early December that jobs in our renewable energy sector have already grown from 27,000 to 41,000 in a single year, an increase of nearly 50%.

It is essential that we tackle the climate crisis whilst eliminating issues like fuel poverty by making it easier and cheaper to heat our homes using green alternatives to gas boilers, like heat pumps.

That is why, in the coming year, the Government will spend £358million on its warmer, greener homes programmes.

It's important to the Scottish Greens that the richest pay the most to support public services like our NHS. As a result of progressive tax reforms we have secured since 2018, public services in Scotland will be better off to the tune of £1.5bn next year.

Recognising that the top 5% of earners can pay a bit more, Greens in Government have continued those reforms with the announcement of a new tax band for those earning over £75,000.

This extra income will allow us to mitigate the cruel policies of the UK Government, continuing the Scottish Government measures which are lifting 90,000 children out of poverty this year.

I’m particularly pleased that my proposal to wipe out all school meal debt held by families across Scotland is one of the new steps the Scottish Government is taking to continue that progress.

Despite the difficulties, we are delivering for people and planet.