THE budget passed at Holyrood this month was the last before May's election and once again the Scottish Greens constructive approach to opposition delivered concrete benefits for the people of Scotland.

While the Conservatives and Labour remain locked in the adversarial Westminster mindset and refuse to seriously engage in process, the Greens have been able to work with our political opponents to bring about meaningful change.

Our deal will significantly expand free school meals, meaning that from August next year all pupils in primary education will be eligible.

That's more than 2,300 extra children in Clackmannanshire no longer having to pay for school meals. Universal free school meals tackle poverty, improve health and reduce inequalities. This is a huge step forward in tackling the scourge of child hunger.

We also secured extra funding for the Food for Life programme, which supports high quality nutritious school meals and promotes local procurement.

Too often good quality local produce is something that's seen as a luxury and confined to the privileged few, but that needn't be the case.

The budget deal also provides £5million to help farmers play their part in tackling the climate emergency. Changing the way we use our land is central to reducing emissions, but farmers need help to make that transition. On top of that, we secured a £10m nature restoration fund to help rebuild biodiversity in our countryside which has suffered greatly.

Last year, we secured a commitment to providing free bus travel for young people aged 18 and under, but we've now ensured that will be expanded to include people age 21 and under. This has the potential to be transformational for young people in Clacks, opening up new opportunities for work, education and travel for those just starting out in life.

The economic effects of the pandemic have disproportionately hit those on low incomes, which is why we've ensured direct Covid relief payments to half a million low-income households in Scotland.

We have also negotiated an enhanced and progressive public sector pay deal, boosting the salary of teachers, NHS staff and more.

Unlike the Tories in Westminster, we're not willing to leave hard-working public-sector staff, who have been invaluable to all of us in the last year, languishing with real terms cuts to their pay.

Instead our deal will see £100m invested in public sector workers. This effectively acts as a raised baseline for sectoral negotiations and further increases may follow, after pay reviews with unions.

In politics, too often people become obsessed with defeating their opponents rather than delivering on the promises they made to the electorate.

In Holyrood Labour and the Tories are frequently guilty of this approach.

The Scottish Greens have always chosen another path, we've chosen to engage, to work collaboratively and constructively and we'll continue to do so while others look on from the side lines.