The National:

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This week we're bringing you the latest reaction from the trade union movement on Tuesday's Budget.

SHONA Robison has given her first Budget statement, with workers anticipating huge cuts in public services. 

Ahead of the statement, the trade union movement warned against the Scottish Government’s proposed council tax freeze.

READ MORE:  The Scottish Budget is a mess – thanks to the Tories, not the SNP

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Scotland's largest trade union body, instead proposed to replace the council tax with a wealth tax. 

The National: Shona Robison has delivered her first Scottish Budget

A higher rate of income tax was announced in the Budget, which would see individuals earning between £75,000 and £125,140 taxed at 45%. 

Robison also said the Government would be going ahead with the council tax freeze, pledging £140 million to fund it. 

The alarm has been raised over this, as the amount pledged falls £160m short of the £300m local authorities say is needed. 

The STUC’s general secretary, Roz Foyer, said “the whole of Parliament is letting people down” as a result of the Budget. 

The National: Members from various trade unions gather for a pay protest rally at the Buchanan Street steps, Glasgow. Pictured is Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC...Photograph by Colin Mearns.26 August 2022.

Foyer continued: “We’re pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to the STUC and introduced a higher rate of tax for those on higher incomes. 

“However, the Scottish Government’s Council Tax freeze and its unwillingness to countenance more ambitious tax reform has left a hole it was never going to be able to fill.  

READ MORE: Scottish Budget summary: Key points from Shona Robison's statement

“The continuation of the regressive council tax simply damages our ability to support local government and those most in need. 

“It is disappointing to see opposition parties failing to make any demands of government save for calling, impossibly, for more services but lower taxes. 

“To this extent the whole of the Parliament is letting people down.” 

Where are the free school meals? 

Reacting to the news that the Scottish Government would be wiping out school meal debt, estimated to be worth around £1.5m, EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said it was “a very positive step”. 

The National:

But she also expressed disappointment that the Government had not pledged to increase the age for free school meal entitlement. 

Instead, Robison announced £43m to be invested in “expanding” the scheme. 

Bradley also condemned the Scottish Government’s decision to freeze council tax, with the provision of education falling under local authorities. 

Bradley continued: “Local authorities will have legitimate concerns about their level of funding overall, and education, as the largest service delivered via local authorities, will be impacted by the decision to freeze council tax again this year.”