I THOUGHT it would be good to review some of the things that have happened since my last column just 10 short weeks ago. We are definitely not short of events.

Here’s a wee, not even close to exhaustive, list of major events since I stopped writing my biweekly column: the President of the United States was impeached for attempting to use the power of his office to get political favours from another world leader; the UK had a General Election in which the electorate gave the SNP 80% of seats in Scotland, and an additional unequivocal mandate to hold a referendum on independence this year; a decade ended and a new decade began; Boris Johnson actually attended a session of Prime Minister’s Questions; climate change caused the worst bushfires ever recorded in Australia (which are still ongoing); the United States and Iran teetered on the edge of all-out war; Christmas; a lot of people really over-reacted to vegan steak bakes and vegan chicken burgers; and an American actress and her husband decided to change jobs and everybody thought that was worthy of 20-million breaking news push notifications.

It’s tough to pick a topic to write about when there’s so much going in the world. Every time you check the news, open Twitter, look at a front page, there are huge stories breaking. This means that important (but arguably dull) news gets lost.

An example of this is the fact that the UK Government has decided to hold its annual Budget announcement on March 11.

The National: Chancellor Sajid JavidChancellor Sajid Javid

The Spring Budget is always big news and it is very important. This one in particular will be very big, as it has to deal with the realities of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and his promise to end austerity, and his promise to build hospitals, and his promise to hire large numbers of police, and all his other promises during the election. But the date of the Budget isn’t normally a story in and of itself. This year it’s different.

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As almost everyone reading this will know, the majority of Scottish Parliament funding comes from the UK Government through the Barnett formula. The formula basically works by transferring an equivalent percentage of whatever the UK Government decides to spend in an area to the Scottish Government. 

The Scottish Government can’t realistically set its Budget until it knows what will be transferring from the UK Treasury. The Scottish Government also has a deadline of April 1 to get its Budget passed so that there are rules in place in tandem with the financial year. So, the UK Government announcing its spending plans on March 11 leaves the Scottish Parliament just three weeks to pass its Budget.

Worse than that, however, is the effect holding the Budget then will have on councils. In a similar vein to how there is a transfer from the UK Treasury to the Scottish Parliament for spending, the Scottish Government also transfer cash to Scottish councils.

When the Scottish Government announces its Budget, it will let councils know how much they will get and, in turn, councils set about putting their budgets together, including deciding what changes will be made to council tax for that year. Councils legally have to have set their rates by March 11. You can see how the decision of the Tory Government in Westminster can still massively impact how our devolved and local governments work.

I raised this issue during Scottish Questions on Wednesday this week. Douglas Ross MP was the one responding, instead of the actual Scottish Secretary, and he had no real answers to give, other than there have been some projections released and the Scottish Government should just work off them.

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The thing is, when the UK Chancellor announces his Budget on March 11, these projections will all be revised. Meaning, that the Scottish Parliament is going to receive a different amount than the current projections. So, if the Scottish Parliament are to go off the current projections, Scottish councils are going to have to set Council Tax rates that could either be too high, or too low. It’s a completely unacceptable situation for the Tories to have left Scottish councils in.

READ MORE: Brexit sends Scotland's police budget into deficit

It may be the case that Westminster is deliberately trying to make things as chaotic and disjointed as possible for Scotland. However, I think they genuinely didn’t consider Scotland whatsoever. This in many ways is worse since it shows how Scotland and devolution is nothing more than an afterthought.

I went on to ask Douglas Ross if he accepted that if Scotland were an independent country, like all the other normal independent countries in the world, we wouldn’t have to put up with this nonsense from the Tories.

He didn’t answer because he knows the answer and doesn’t like it.