JUST a few minutes before Derek MacKay got to his feet to present his budget in Holyrood last week, it was announced that the SNP and the Greens had reached an arrangement.

This is the third year in a row that the Greens have proclaimed how difficult it would be for them to support the SNP before eventually falling into line after getting a few small concessions, confirming what many of us suspected, that the Greens are simply the SNP by another name.

As I wrote about a couple of months ago, the Scottish Conservatives offered to work constructively with the Scottish Government if they were committed to a budget that would support the Scottish economy.

The first and most important way they could have done this was by taking the threat of a second, unwanted independence referendum off the table. Unfortunately for hardworking Scots, this was not a pill the SNP were prepared to swallow.

We all know that the SNP are not particularly good when it comes to keeping their promises.

They have already broken their Holyrood manifesto pledge not to increase the rate of income tax but this budget deal with the Greens breaks two more of their manifesto commitments.

They pledged not to allow local authorities to raise council tax above 3 per cent but this deal will allow councils to increase it by up to 4.8 per cent, hitting everyone in the pocket.

In addition, the SNP have done an about turn on the issue of a tourist tax or a transient visitor levy as Derek MacKay has dubbed it and the government plan to give councils the power to introduce the tax from next year.

Whilst such a charge might work in some European cities, we already have a very high rate of tourism VAT when compared with the rest of Europe. As a result, this could hit our tourist industry hard and disincentivise people from coming to visit Scotland.

But these are not the only tax rises which might come about as part of this deal. The SNP have also buckled to the Greens' demand of giving councils the power to introduce a new workplace parking levy for employees both in the public and the private sector whose employers provide them with parking spaces. Only NHS workers will be exempt.

This is yet another stealth tax, which will allow councils to extract more of your hard-earned cash.

It is clear that this unholy alliance between the SNP and the Greens is bad for business, bad for our communities and bad for our hard-working families.

The UK Government's budget last year means that the Scottish Government's block grant for day-to-day spending will rise by £950 million for the next financial year.

The Scottish Conservatives are committed to keeping taxes low whilst ensuring that our public services are protected.