DEREK Mackay will publish his budget on February 6, a whole month before Chancellor Sajid Javid delivers the Tory Government’s spending plans.

It’s an unusual situation for the Scottish Government to be in, normally ministers in Edinburgh wait until after the Budget is set out in Westminster before making their own spending plans.

But the Treasury has delayed its big day until 11 March, the legal deadline for councils in Scotland to sort their spending plans.

The UK Budget was originally due to be held in November but was put back, in part, because of last month's General Election.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: UK Budget delay shows Scotland is an afterthought

The Scottish Government had planned to announce its spending plans in early December, but the UK Government’s delay has left MSPs facing a fast-track version of the normally three-month long process.

Mackay said: “The UK Government’s approach to the Scottish Budget has been completely unacceptable and has shown a disregard for devolution and a lack of fiscal responsibility.

“The timing of the UK Budget made it impossible for us to publish our own budget after the UK Government’s without drastically restricting the time for parliamentary scrutiny.

“In these exceptional circumstances, created by the UK Government, it is vital we give local authorities and public services clarity on their budgets. That is why we have made the decision to publish our budget in February which will allow local authorities to set their budgets and council tax before the legal deadline of March 11.”

There was support for MacKay from Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

He said: "This entirely avoidable crisis has been created by the irresponsible UK Government, and it’s throwing Scottish public services into uncertainty. There is no risk-free way for the Scottish Government to deal with this situation, but waiting until mid-March to publish a budget would be the most damaging option, so we welcome the announcement that it will be published before the UK Budget."