Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has warmly welcomed the passing of stage one of the Scottish Budget.
The budget was voted through in-spite of a failed attempt to wreck it by the Liberal Democrats and Labour.
Mr Gibson said:
"This budget means that council tax will be frozen, there will be increases in road gritting, reduction in business rates, abolition of the graduate endowment, new fire and safety communications rooms, increased funding for the third sector and care for the elderly, additional teaching places and police recruitment as well as many other benefits."
"This is an all Scotland approach to Government and the positive effects will be felt throughout the nation. It is a budget which will help all in society."
Commenting on the Lib Dem/Labour alliance against the budget he said:
"I understand that there needs to be an opposition; however Labour and their Lib Dem backers came up with no credible alternative. If they succeed they would send Scotland into political turmoil. They would stop the Council Tax freeze, kill off free prescription charges and hit small business owners by ending the business rates relief before it ever got going. That would prove a political point but in the end do more damage to ordinary individuals than good."
"I hope that in the following weeks they will see the error of their ways in future vote. However I feel that they are too busy trying to settle political goals than trying their best for the people of Scotland."