AS we come to the end of the second recess in as many months MSPs are looking ahead to one of the most exciting and chaotic times of the year — the Scottish Budget.

Now if a government has a majority in the Scottish Parliament (and a culture that doesn’t allow any dissent from what Nicola Sturgeon wants) then getting the budget through is a simple procedure.

However, since the First Minister lost her majority in last year’s Holyrood elections this can become quite the ordeal as we saw last year.

For example, in last year’s budget we saw the SNP succumb to pressure from Patrick Harvie’s demands for tax hikes, resulting in Scotland becoming the highest taxed part of the UK.

Just weeks ago we saw Sturgeon falter again as she dropped vital plans to use new powers on Air Departure Tax to attract airlines to Scotland, create jobs and open up cheap new destinations for Scots to take advantage of.

I found this to be disappointing, especially for Greenock and Inverclyde. Given we have two airports in close proximity to us, we could have seen new jobs created here, boosted local business through tourism, given local folk the chance to take a cheap flight somewhere new and really put the west on the map as a transport hub for the whole of the UK.

It’s a shame really, Greenock and Inverclyde is long overdue a good boost, but under this SNP government it’s clear that this isn’t going to happen.

So it will be interesting to see what other surprises the Green/SNP quasi-coalition has in store for Scotland in this budget. Will it be more tax rises for working men and women? Hiking business rates? What’s clear is that Nicola Sturgeon will be dancing to the tune of Patrick Harvie in just a few weeks time.

As an MSP for the West Scotland Region I will ensure that this budget is properly scrutinised and that both parties are held to account over their outdated visions for taxing working people.

I don’t want to see local folk have to fork out their hard-earned cash just so the SNP can pay for the mistakes they have made in government.

We need a budget that puts forward a serious plan to grow our economy, deliver well-paid jobs and lift people out of deprivation, at least that’s the budget that I am hoping for.

So as we get set for our final stretch before the new year, Greenock and Inverclyde will be the forefront of my attention.

Should anybody wish to get in touch with an issue that they want raised in parliament please feel free to drop me a line or come by my regional office. I am always happy to meet with, and chat to, the people that I work hard to represent.