Money makes the world go round. So goes the song and it is, to a great extent, true.

Almost everything we do is determined by the supply of money. That has been particularly in evidence in the last few weeks with Budgets abounding in local Councils, in Westminster and in the Scottish Parliament.

I am pleased that the Scottish Government has been able to provide local government the funding to underwrite a freezing of the Council Tax. At a time when the Tory-generated Cost of Living Crisis is continuing to push up the price of essentials like food, mortgages and energy, keeping Council Taxes at last year’s levels shows a key link between national budget, Council budget and household budget.

It is a measure that has massive public support – recent polling showed a whopping 69 per cent of the Scottish public in favour, and yet Labour and Conservative MSPs voted against it.

Some Unionist-run Scottish Councils were determined to cut off their nose to spite their faces with Lib Dem and Tory run Argyll and Bute Council introducing an increase of 10 per cent, Labour run Inverclyde Council introducing an increase of 15 per cent over the next two years, and the Labour group on Falkirk Council proposing an increase of eight per cent, which was thankfully rejected.

So, I am delighted for my constituents here in Clackmannanshire that they will benefit from the Scottish Government’s funding of a Council Tax Freeze. The SNP Group on the Council are to be congratulated, not only on freezing the Council Tax but for steering through a budget that was supported unanimously across the Council chamber – that is quite some feat!

I’d love to see local government getting more money. There is no doubt, whatsoever, that times are hard – but this is not an issue that is unique to Scotland. In England, several local councils have already effectively declared bankruptcy and a recent survey by the Local Government Information Unit on the State of Local Government Finance in England contained the chilling statistic that more than 50 per cent of English councils could issue a Section 114 (effectively declaring bankruptcy) within the lifetime of the next Parliament.

Unfortunately, the Scottish Government can only operate with the pot of money that is made available to it and the UK Government spurned the opportunity to make a real difference in the Spring Budget.

Whereas the Scottish Government’s Budget prioritised funding in the areas that have the greatest impact on the quality of life for the people of Scotland – despite the challenges caused in large part by the UK Government’s failure to invest in public services and infrastructure – the UK Chancellor’s Spring Budget was a betrayal of public services in Scotland and across the UK. It did not provide a single penny more for capital funding and was a clear reminder that we cannot build a fair, dynamic economy while being tied to Westminster Governments.

I started with one song, and I’ll finish with another: I can't understand why we let someone else rule our land, cap in hand.