LIKE it or lump it, Derek Mackay’s Scottish Budget was bold and innovative. And in sharp contrast to his trademark dry delivery. There was even a firework at the end: the announcement of an initial £340 million over two years to capitalise the new Scottish National Investment Bank.

To be truly transformative of the economy, the bank will need to deal in billions rather than millions, but Derek has put his money where his political mouth is.

It’s also significant that he has taken the vital step to create more income tax bands. The narrow banding of the UK Treasury system isn’t fit for purpose as it batters middle earners, letting the super-rich off lightly. So another star for the Finance Secretary.

READ // Budget analysis: This was more about smart politics than big changes

I can live with the one pence on the very top income tax band, provided it is a case of going softly to catch the monkey. Let’s keep raising it every year.

The Budget’s downside is the continuing squeeze on local authorities – which will get worse if there is a 3 per cent wage rise, which councils will have to fund. The solution there is a wholly new approach to funding local services. Anyone for a land value tax?