We continue to talk with Scot Gov to urge them to take budget in right direction

Responding to publication today (27 Jan) by Holyrood's Finance Committee of its report on the Scottish Government's draft budget, Scottish Greens Finance spokesperson Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Given the range of views about the budget in Parliament, and the lack of any sign so far that the Government has decided on a compromise with any other party, it would have been a tall order for the Finance Committee to reach definitive answers about tax rates, council funding, or any other issue. The most important thing is that the debate continues, hopefully in a constructive spirit, to seek changes to the budget which Parliament can support.

"The Greens are clear that Scotland now has the power to make the tax system more progressive, and to protect our vital public services from cuts which are coming. It would be a missed opportunity of historic proportions if we fail to do so. It would be even worse to pile pressure onto councils to increase the unfair Council Tax, while refusing to use fair and progressive income tax powers which are now devolved.

"With less than a week until the first budget vote, we will continue to talk with the Scottish Government, making positive and reasonable efforts to urge them to take steps in the right direction. However at the moment the ball is in their court, and they know what is needed to achieve a budget which is capable of gaining the support of Parliament."