IT WAS Scottish budget week last week at Holyrood. Despite a different face it was more of the same from the SNP.

The Scottish Government will receive nearly £1billion extra for the coming financial year from the UK Government as a result of increased spending at Westminster, but this has, unsurprisingly, not been put to good use.

The Scottish Conservatives are taking a pragmatic approach to the budget and have asked for more funding to support our public services.

One area that has been particularly struggling is our police. Following the SNP’s centralisation of our local forces, community policing has suffered with officers forced to cover vast geographical areas.

While the Scottish Government has announced £37million of additional funding for Police Scotland, this is short of the £50m that both officers and auditors have said is needed.

We have seen recently that the very fabric of local police stations is crumbling. We will need to see further increases in police funding in order to support the Scottish budget.

The SNP’s budget proposals also fail to do enough to tackle the drug and alcohol crises. The Scottish Government has pledged an additional £12.7m to tackle drug and alcohol usage but this does not make up for the £15.4m cut to Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships just a few years ago.

We want to see this funding reinstated and directed towards more rehabilitation beds rather than the Scottish Government’s approach of looking at proposals such as ‘safe’ consumption rooms that would allow heroin addicts to take more of the drug that has blighted so many lives in the country.

The SNP has also broken its manifesto commitment not to raise tax rates – by increasing taxes for over one million Scots.

Anyone in Scotland who earns more than £27,243 will now pay more than tax than they would if they lived in the rest of the UK with those earning over £50,000 paying more than £1,500 extra.

These tax hikes will not just effect bankers and chief executives but promoted teachers, senior nurses, and police officers who ensure that the public services we all rely on continue to function.

Disappointingly, the SNP continues to blame Westminster for everything that goes wrong in devolved public services, accusing the UK Government of underfunding the Scottish Government. This is despite the fact that public spending in Scotland is nearly £1,700 higher than the UK average.

In fact, if we take into account how much Scots pay in tax versus how much is spent in Scotland on public spending, every man, woman and child is nearly £2,000 better off as result of being part of the United Kingdom. This is our Union dividend.

At the same time, they are spending millions of pounds on their constitutional obsession, wasting taxpayers’ money on a ‘citizens’ assembly’ and referendum legislation.

In short, the SNP have the money they need, but through mismanagement of public services, spending on vanity projects ,and their obsession with independence, hard-working Scots continue to get a bad deal.

Now more than ever we need sensible, grown-up government rather than constant political posturing and the Scottish Conservatives are ready and able to provide that leadership.