NEW Scottish budget plans have split Ayrshire politicians after proposals suggest more money for the NHS and more tax bills.

SNP MSP Cumnock and Doon Valley, Jeane Freeman has backed Scottish Government’s budget for the coming financial year.

She was thrilled it secured 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.

Cumnock Chronicle:

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.

But not everyone was happy as Tory MSP Brian Whittle hit out against the new plans.

He criticised the budget passed by the SNP with the support of the Greens, saying it penalises workers, cuts council budgets and puts up taxes leaving the public paying more and getting less.

Among the controversial policies in the budget is the proposal to introduce a Car Park Tax that could charge commuters paying hundreds of pounds a year to park at work.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jeane Freeman said:

“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 Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley.

Cumnock Chronicle:

“I am delighted that Holyrood has given its backing to a progressive budget that will help create a more prosperous and equal society for all.

“This budget confirms Scotland as the fairest taxed part of the UK, with most income tax payers paying less than they would elsewhere.

“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.

“This Brexit shambles simply reinforces the case for an independent Scotland, where we could take real control of our own future, continuing to build one of the world’s most successful economies on a firm foundation of strong and dependable public services.”

Brian Whittle said: “However the SNP try and dress this budget up, it’s obvious to everyone that it’s a mess.

"Thanks to the Scottish Government ring-fencing much of the money they give to councils, councils are being forced to make significant cuts to balance the books. This leaves councils little option but to put up council tax rates to protect services.

"As part of their deal with Greens, the SNP has agreed an ill-thought out Car Park Tax.

"Handing councils this power makes a mockery of local government. It’s like giving someone an anvil and saying they have the power to drop it on their foot.  If Ayrshire councillors have any sense, they’ll take one look at this policy and bin it.

"This budget was more about buying the Scottish Greens support than it was about improving local services, growing the economy or delivering a good deal for taxpayers.”