WE CONTINUE to live in uncertain times as we navigate our way through the coronavirus pandemic.

I would again like to pay tribute to the fantastic work that is being done by health and social care workers, other key workers, and the hundreds of community volunteers who are all working hard to keep us safe and support the vulnerable across the Wee County.

For the most part, people are following the guidance that has been issued by the Scottish and UK governments to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

While there continues to be a broad political consensus around keeping some form of social distancing in place in the weeks and months ahead, our role as Scotland's main opposition party is to hold the Scottish Government to account for its response to the virus.

While it is right that devolution allows for Scotland to take an alternative approach to health and other areas of policy, the SNP's different choices have in many cases been inexplicable.

Take, for example, support to businesses. The chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a scheme that would give £25,000 to businesses for each property they have to help them stay afloat.

The Scottish Government decided it would only give £25,000 to each business rather than for each property, meaning businesses in Scotland were worse off than in the rest of the UK as a result of the SNP's approach.

After much campaigning from the Scottish Conservatives and businesses across Scotland, the Scottish Government bowed to pressure and said that for each additional property a business has after their first one, they will receive 75 per cent of the £25,000.

While the extra support is welcome, Scottish businesses are still worse off than the rest of the UK for no apparent reason except the SNP wanting to have a different scheme for Scotland.

We have also seen housebuilders allowed to go back to work in England, provided they can do so safely using rotas and other social distancing measures.

But the SNP have refused permission to do this in Scotland. This is putting Scotland at a disadvantage when it comes to the economic recovery from this virus.

Allowing builders to go back to work would ensure we can build the homes people desperately need and secure the long-term future of the industry.

As a result of extra UK Government money, through the Barnett Formula, there is an extra £155million to support our local councils in Scotland.

But, at the time of writing, the SNP is refusing to pass it on to our town halls. Instead, they have shockingly suggested that councils should dip into their own savings despite the fact that many of our councils are already running on empty.

There is no excuse for not passing this extra money on.

If we are going to take a different approach from the rest of the United Kingdom, the SNP need to clearly demonstrate what the benefit is for people and businesses in Scotland.

And, if they cannot do that, you can be sure that we will be holding them to account for their decisions.