I wouldn't normally award attention to someone so obviously desperate for it, however, I must correct two of Tory list MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston's erroneous pronouncements.
- Ferry funding was not included in the draft budget, not because it was dismissed, but because the Scottish Government was still in negotiations with the Orkney and Shetland councils.
It was added to the budget as soon as an agreement was reached and the amount was known.
A deal was, however, close to agreement at the draft stage. Some may recall that both northern isles MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott were asked, during the draft budget debate, if they would vote for the budget if the ferry funding was included and both refused to comment.
- It is untrue that anyone earning over £26K per year will pay more tax. In fact, anyone earning up to £33K will either pay less tax or there will be no difference.
The modest tax increase above £33K, affecting 30 per cent of the population, will hardly dent the massive Tory "Tax Cut for the Rich" that those on the higher rate of tax have been enjoying for years.
Recent polls show broad public approval for these tax changes.
This year, Tory MSPs have demanded over 100 budget increases over and above the Scottish Government's own amendments to mitigate the very Westminster austerity budget that Scottish Tory MPs all voted for.
I think that Mr JH Johnston shouldn't accuse anyone of playing games, particularly where it comes to the Scottish Budget that his own party is responsible for cutting.
As the Scottish Government has no powers to borrow money or print more, the only way it can raise extra money is through taxes.
Teresa May is the keeper of the "magic money tree". The DUP managed to get its windfall for Northern Ireland, but the Scottish Tories have done absolutely nothing to help Scotland financially.
Come on Mr Johnston, persuade your own party to shake that tree, then you might sound less deceitful.
Shetland SNP Branch Secretary