THE Scottish Budget’s measures to tackle the climate emergency were given a cautious welcome by some of Scotland’s green groups, but there was disappointment, too, that it hadn’t gone further.

Extinction Rebellion described the proposals as “business as usual”. A spokesperson said: “While our Government claims to be putting action on this existential crisis at the heart of the Budget, it continues to prioritise motorway and road building, the development of new air routes and support for the oil and gas sector. Emissions are only increasing, fossil fuel companies are only increasing their outputs, and we are entering the sixth mass extinction.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said:“A climate emergency calls for an emergency response and a serious funding boost, not more timid tinkering at the edges.”

However, Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, said it was “pleased to see climate change taking centre stage in Scotland’s Budget”. He added: “Scotland has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the UK as a whole, so funding for difficult to decarbonise areas such as heat and agriculture is welcome.”

There were clashes over the money allocated to policing, with the Scottish Police Federation claiming the government had turned a “deaf ear” to the needs of the country’s single force. Calum Steele from the SPF said the Budget was “a considerable missed opportunity.”

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In her Budget speech, Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced an increase to the Scottish Police Authority’s resource budget of £37 million and an additional £6.5m “for community justice interventions”, in a bid to reduce re-offending rates.

Steele dismissed the capital allocation as “nothing short of embarrassing”. He said: “The police service of Scotland is the second-largest force in the UK. It has unique demands that do not exist in many other police forces yet its capital allocation is more in line with that of a small English county force.”

However, Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, who had previously warned that “systemic underfunding” of the police force could lead to the loss of 750 officers, was more positive.

He said: “I have made our financial situation clear in recent weeks and I welcome the package announced by the Scottish Government today.”

Meanwhile, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said the extra £495m for councils was in effect a cut because the Government was also asking for £590m worth of spending. Resources spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor said: “This is £95m in hard cash that will need to be taken out of frontline services for communities.”