LAST week the Scottish Parliament voted to back the Scottish Government’s budget for the coming financial year – securing a cash boost for the NHS while offering economic stability in the face of Tory Brexit chaos.

Despite Westminster cuts of almost £2 billion over the last decade to Scotland’s block resource grant, the SNP has committed £729 million extra for health and care services – with spending on NHS frontline boards rising by £430 million.

NHS Fife is set to receive a £24.8million rise in spending – a 3.9% increase on last year’s spending. The budget includes things like increased funding for police, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, new devolved social security benefits that will make a real difference to families, record investment in housing and a £50m town Centre Fund.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also announced an £8 billion investment in Scotland’s education system, including £120 million delivered directly to head teachers – helping schools address the poverty related attainment gap. Scotland’s colleges will benefit from a £606 million investment over 2019-20, while universities will receive more than £1 billion.

As part of the Scottish Government’s plan to almost double the paid-for provision of childcare to 1,140 hours from August 2020 for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds, the budget also commits £500 million to support the expansion of early learning services and facilities across Scotland.

The SNP’s plans also ensure local councils receive a fair funding settlement, delivering a total local government settlement of £11.1 billion next year – that includes an additional £90 million to the core spending grant.

This budget will ensure Scotland remains the lowest taxed part of the UK – despite the falsetto falsehoods chirruped endlessly by the Tories and their pals - keeping council tax increases below the 5% cap in England while ensuring 55% of income taxpayers will pay less in Scotland than they would elsewhere in the UK.

With Westminster in complete chaos, the SNP has delivered certainty and stability for Scotland’s economy with a budget that protects our cherished health service and supports our schools here in Cowdenbeath.

Meanwhile, the Tories favoured tax cuts for the well off at cost of £500m to health service. Labour reeled off a series of wish lists but refused to say how they would be paid for. Both of them seemed to spend most of their time talking about a car park levy that will only come about if local councils decide it suits their circumstances.

And none of the lot of them even mentioned the disastrous impact of Brexit on jobs, our economy and the lives of citizens of Scotland.

Brexit remains the biggest threat to Scotland’s economy, which is why the Tories should rule out a no-deal outcome before it’s too late.

While Westminster politicians are playing with Scotland’s future, the SNP is getting on with trying to protect Scotland with the limited powers of devolution.