AS SCOTLAND continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the question of how the SNP Government manages Scotland's finances will be one that hangs over people's livelihoods across the country.

This is why I was honoured to recently be awarded the role of Shadow Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair work in the Scottish Parliament.

This role will be an ideal platform to shine a light on the huge amount of work that the current SNP Scottish Government has to do in this area – and I will use this platform to the fullest extent possible.

But when it comes to exposing this SNP Government's economic failings, I will certainly not be short of points to raise, because careful management of the economy is something this government have shown they are incapable of doing.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the recent Spending Review announced by the SNP, which exposed how years of financial mismanagement has created a £3.5 billion black hole in their spending plans over the coming years.

And inevitably, this is a black hole which will be filled by cuts to frontline public services across Scotland.

This includes services such as education, which will reportedly be hit with a five per cent funding cut in real terms over the coming years.

Not content with slashing over £800,000 of attainment gap funding from Clackmannanshire's schools last year, the SNP are now showing once again that education is not the priority that they once claimed it was to them.

The justice and policing budgets are also facing real terms cuts each year until at least 2026 – despite the SNP promising to protect this budget as recently as last year in their manifesto.

The Scottish Police Federation, which acts as the voice of police officers in Scotland, has warned these cuts mean that Police Scotland can currently 'only dream' of frontline police numbers returning to their previous levels.

But as usual, no round of cuts would be complete for this SNP Government without councils also taking a hit. And sure enough, local government is set to receive a further seven per cent cut over the next five years – and this is on top of the £250million cut they are already receiving this year.

To further rub salt into the wound, all these cuts are taking place despite the Scottish Government receiving the largest ever block grant this year from the UK Government – regardless of how the SNP may try and spin this.

This is why I joined my colleagues in the Scottish Parliament last week to call out the SNP's failure to capitalise on this record funding, and their refusal to take any responsibility for their own mismanagement on this issue.

Based on the SNP's current form, the Scottish public can rightly be sceptical of the Scottish Government's ability to protect vital frontline services.

In the coming years, the SNP are quite forthright that their priority will be securing a second independence referendum.

But I will use every opportunity I have to shift this priority onto creating more jobs, building the economy, and funding the public services that the Scottish public rightly expect.