THE Scottish Government's budget continues to be at the top of the political agenda.

Last week, Derek Mackay announced revisions to his taxation and spending proposals as the budget bill began its journey through the Scottish Parliament.

Even with the few changes that the finance secretary has made, this is a budget that makes hard-working Clackmannanshire residents pay more for less.

This budget comes after ten years of continuous low growth under the SNP and this year Scotland will have suffered the lowest economic growth in the developed world.

The independent Fraser of Allander Institute have said that such low trends in economic growth for Scotland have not been seen for 60 years. This is precisely the wrong time to be hiking up taxes.

The deal struck between the SNP and the Greens will mean that some people will pay even more tax than the rises already announced.

In addition to the fact that everyone over £26,000 will pay more than those earning the same in the rest of the UK, those earning more than £43,430 will pay an another £169 a year on top of the draft budget hikes. This is a shameful tax on aspiration.

While money to offset the real-terms cut to local government funding is, of course, welcome, it fails to acknowledge the savage cuts to which our councils have been subjected by the SNP over the last few years.

Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, the Scottish Government have slashed local authority budgets by 7.6 per cent in real terms, which has forced councils to make substantial savings and reduce service provision.

What is more, the SNP have made local authorities wait for over a month until they got to know how much money they would actually have to spend this year

There is no other reason for this delay than to allow for the carefully choreographed PR stunt that is the budget negotiations process between the SNP and the Greens.

No one was under any illusion that the Greens would have done anything other than prop up their fellow nationalists.

This is now the second-year running that the Greens have provided the SNP with the votes to get their budget through Holyrood so it is important that people keep in mind some of the things that they are likely to ask for in future budgets.

Patrick Harvie has made it pretty clear that his price for supporting next year's budget will be a hike to council tax.

Given that the first minister last week refused to rule out such a rise, alarm bells should be ringing in the houses of families across Scotland.

The Scottish Conservatives opposed this budget at the Stage 1 debate in the Scottish Parliament and will continue to do so.

We cannot endorse a budget that imposes punitive taxes on hard-working families in the Wee County, which will make Scotland the highest-taxed part of the United Kingdom, and one that fails to take the necessary action to support Scotland's economy.