Last month, the cabinet secretary for finance and the constitution, Derek Mackay, stood up in the Scottish Parliament to deliver the Scottish Government's budget for the year ahead.

One for which he is likely to have to find support from the Scottish Greens. There had been much speculation in the media about whether he would break the SNP's manifesto commitment not to increase the basic rate of income tax for the duration of this parliament.

On the day before the budget, the Scottish Conservatives challenged the SNP to keep to their manifesto pledge and to protect those on low and middle incomes.

The Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the Scottish Retail Consortium and the Fraser of Allander Institute have all warned of the negative impacts that tax rises could have on our economy. Sadly, the Scottish Government failed to support our motion.

The reasons for their failure to reiterate their own manifesto promise became clear when Mr Mackay announced his changes to income tax, including a new rate of 21 pence in the pound for those earning between £24,000 and £44,000 a year.

This means that anyone earning more than £26,000 will be worse off than their equivalents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This new Nat Tax will hit 10,000 residents in Clackmannanshire alone.

The SNP have suggested that people will be no worse off than they are now if their income is under £33,000, which is indeed true but this is thanks to the increase in the Personal Allowance introduced by the UK Government—not the SNP.

For those who will save money under the new regime, their weekly increase in income will be a maximum of 38 pence, which could be wiped out in its entirety by as little as a two per cent rise in local council tax.

At the same time, Mr Mackay announced a £157m real-terms cut to local authorities for the coming financial year.

This decision comes despite the fact that local authorities are already struggling with their finances and when amount of money available to the Scottish Government from the Treasury is set to increase in real terms by one per cent over the next three years.

It just goes to show that under the SNP we pay more, but get less in return.

The Scottish Conservatives have, however, discovered that Scottish Government has wasted £112m over the last ten years.

This has included a £2.4m grant to a firm that soon went bust and £0.44m spent on a Prison Service IT system that had to be scrapped due to technical difficulties.

Rather than raise taxes on hard-working families in Scotland, the SNP should instead focus on the vast amount of wasteful spending by its own government.

This draft budget is a great disappointment and will see cuts to frontline services while asking taxpayers to contribute more.

It sends out completely the wrong message to families across Scotland. If you are ambitious, hard working and successful, the SNP will penalise you for being so.