LAST month’s chaotic Scottish Budget will leave ordinary Scots paying more and getting less in return.

The SNP’s mismanagement of our public finances and failure to deliver growth has left us with a massive gap to be filled. If Scotland’s economy had kept pace with other parts of the UK, it would now be £8.5bn larger.

The impact of this failure is being felt in all aspects of Scottish society. NHS waiting times are soaring, schools are struggling, the housing crisis is worsening by the day and local policing is being hollowed out.

The Budget was slated by key sectors across society. Business leaders said it was “short-sighted” and “will not deliver growth”, while the National Farmers Union said its members had been “let down” by cuts.

Campaigners and charities also slammed the budget. The Poverty Alliance said it “fails to deliver fundamental change”, while children’s charities criticised the lack of uplift in the Scottish Child Payment.

On funding for public services, council leadership body COSLA declared the Budget was “a major blow for communities”. It is also clear that the offer to councils goes nowhere near fully funding the proposed council tax freeze as ministers had promised. It threatens to inflict yet more damage on vital public services and put councils at risk.

Locally, despite valiant efforts to ensure ministers understand East Lothian’s specific needs, they clearly failed to heed the warnings about the impact funding cuts are having on East Lothian’s communities. Indeed, the budget will reduce funding for building much-needed new houses and schools to help deal with our rapidly growing population.

Scotland does not need to struggle on with two incompetent governments – it needs change. Scottish Labour are completely focused on delivering change here in Scotland and across the UK.