THE Greens look likely to turn their backs on the Scottish Government’s Budget, accusing Kate Forbes of not doing enough to tackle the climate emergency.

The charge comes as analysis by the Scottish Parliament’s information centre (Spice) suggests ministers are spending significantly more

Spice says funding for new public transport and walking and cycling “remain dwarfed by the commitment to invest £6 billion over the next 10 years in dualling the A9 and A96 trunk roads”.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Away from the SNP spin, these figures show this Budget for what it is – an inadequate response to the climate emergency.

“This report shows that in high intensity sectors like transport, the Scottish Government are using the right rhetoric on climate, but pursuing a business-as-usual approach.

“We don’t have time to pretend to take this seriously. The Scottish Government could start by following the recommendations of its own Infrastructure Commission, which said that no additional capacity should be added to the road network and that we should invest to boost public transport instead.

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“The Greens are willing to work with the Government to introduce free bus travel for our young people and provide warm homes, but Ministers will need to wake up to the climate emergency to do that.”

Responding, a Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The Budget will see £2.97 billion being invested in the connectivity we need for inclusive economic growth, including significant additional funding to tackle climate change.  Funding for Active Travel has increased to £85 million in 2020-21 to improve walking and cycling infrastructure.

"Advice from the Infrastructure Commission is helping to shape our future investment in Scotland’s infrastructure, recognising the long term objectives of this Government to deliver an inclusive and net zero emissions economy.

“The Commission’s report is timely in terms of transport, we are at a key stage in considering our future plans for transport infrastructure, through work on the National Transport Strategy and the Strategic Transport Projects Review 2.

“We need to balance the extensive changes required to meet a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions with our duty to ensure that Scotland has high quality infrastructure to meet the needs of all our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Meanwhile, the Spice analysis also revealed that while a majority of taxpayers (56%) will pay less in Scotland under the SNP’s plans, higher-rate taxpayers earning more than £50,000 will pay a minimum of £1500 extra in income tax.

Those earning below £27,000 will pay approximately £21 less per year on average, Spice has calculated.

Spice’s analysis of last week’s draft Budget found the Scottish Government is forecast to raise £650 million more than if Scotland matched the rest of the UK’s income tax rates, but that “is only just managing to offset the block grant adjustment”.