Speaking in response to the budget statement this afternoon, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie MSP said:
“I welcome the decision to abandon the council tax plan to strip funds from councils. However it appears that the Highlands and Islands Enterprise budget is being cut as are the funds for our universities.
“With our international standing in education slipping and our faltering economy there is an urgent need to use our brand new powers to raise £500million for education to get it back to its best. That’s the way to boost our economy. We need transformation and this is not a transformational budget.
“The First Minister said today that there were acres of common ground between the parties but can I tell the Finance Secretary that he has got miles to travel before we can reach an agreement. Liberal Democrats will be pragmatic and reasonable in negotiations but it is the Finance Secretary who needs to be prepared to make drastic changes that will deliver the investment our education needs and subsequently the boost our economy requires.”