BUDGET week is always an exciting one in politics and I’m pleased to say that the Chancellor did take this occasion to put forward a budget that puts Scotland front and centre.

I thank the Chancellor for his efforts, truth be told, there’s another 13 individuals I’d like to draw attention to – the Scottish Conservative MPs. These MPs have been pushing tirelessly to make sure that Scotland gets a good deal from this year’s budget.

The Chancellor did make reference to this in his statement last Wednesday saying: “I’m starting to get used to my Scottish colleagues bending my ear” 

But what exactly did they achieve? Well a freeze on whiskey duty, new help for our oil and gas market and a VAT exemption for our police and fire services.

All extremely important and beneficial, but the last one bears much bigger significance. Because of the SNP ignoring legal advice over changes to our police force and fire service a couple of years back, our frontline services lost £140 million through VAT. 

Yet when the Scottish people returned 13 Scottish Conservative MPs, the first item on their to-do list was to overturn this decision.

Through a process of constructive dialogue and cooperation they were able to do more for Scotland in six months than the SNP’s 56 did in two years.
Instead of shouting fro

m the side lines, our guys got stuck in and delivered for Scotland. The Scottish Conservatives hit the ground running and made sure that Phillip Hammond heard our voice.
MPs sat down with the

Chancellor and laid out Scotland’s needs in a calm and reasonable manner. In return Scotland’s frontline services are now set to save £35 million a year, a clear example of the Scottish Conservatives clearing up the mess that the SNP made.

I believe this shows that the best approach is working with our friends and allies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This confrontation at every opportunity approach has damaged Scotland massively, it’s why growth is stagnating, confidence is down and unemployment is rising.

Let’s learn from the lessons of the budget. Let’s work with the UK Government to make sure that the west of Scotland benefits from the proceeds of growth. Instead of endlessly attacking Westminster, I say we work together to ensure places like Ayrshire and Inverclyde benefits from the investment.