'MY column focuses on last week’s budget debate at the Scottish Parliament, which saw the SNP break three promises on tax.

They previously vowed not to increase income tax for those paying the basic rate; not to allow Council Tax increases of more than 3% and not to introduce a tourist tax.

All these have been broken and with this triple tax bombshell, it’s clear that you can’t trust the SNP on tax .

There was never any doubt that the budget deal was going to be struck between the SNP and Greens.

And yet we were all strung along, being made to think that this budget could fall.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay may have thought that he was Doctor Who, with Patrick Harvie as his assistant, but between them they will exterminate Scotland’s attractiveness as a place to live, work, and build a business.

The message of this budget seemed to be - hold onto your wallets, because the SNP and Greens are coming for them.

The context for this budget was that the Finance Secretary found himself in a healthier position than he was expecting with Barnett Consequentials of an extra £950 million in the Scottish Block Grant, following the UK Chancellor’s announcements in October.

However, the choice made by the Finance Secretary was to extend the income tax gap between Scotland and the rest of the UK, meaning that those earning between £43,430 and £50,000, will face a marginal tax rate of 53%.

It means that anyone earning over £27,000 will pay more than their equivalents south of the border. Not rich households - we are talking about households with a total income of £27,000, paying the price of having an SNP government.

I highlighted one example of spending in the Scottish Government’s draft budget. International relations are a reserved matter, and yet this Government is increasing the spending on international relations by a staggering 52% over two years, from £15.7 million to £23.9 million.

The SNP tell us there is no money to spend and yet that is us funding Scottish Ministers grandstanding around the globe at our expense.

The Scottish Conservatives made an offer to the SNP in advance of this budget. We asked them to ditch their plans for an unwanted second independence referendum, to take action to narrow the tax gap rather than widen it, and then we could sit and talk about measures to grow the Scottish economy and support our public services.

However, the consequence of this SNP budget will be a Scottish economy continuing to underperform, and yet more taxes on hardworking families.'