Labour and the SNP have both slammed the budget – blasting the Conservatives for continuing with an austerity agenda.

North Ayrshire SNP say the Budget will pile further misery on those who are already struggling, with Labour calling on the SNP Government to offer an alternative.

SNP Group Leader Marie Burns said: “It’s shameful the way the Tories have tried to spin this as a good Budget for Scotland.

“In real terms the Tories have cut Scotland’s block grant by over £200 million.

“Some parts of North Ayrshire are among the most disadvantaged in the UK so folk here are struggling to get by as it is.

“The Budget means that all they are in for is more Tory austerity – which, with typical Tory callousness, Philip Hammond described as ‘living within your means’.

“The Brexit disaster will only compound their problems.

“To add insult to injury we are witnessing the failed Universal Credit being rolled out. We know that this will bring more child poverty and hardship”.

Labour Group leader Joe Cullinane said: “Seven years ago the Tories inherited a growing economy thanks to Labour’s economic stimulus after the banking crisis. Seven years on, the Tories have missed every fiscal target they set on debt and the deficit, wages are down and economic growth has been downgraded again due to their austerity agenda which is starving our public services of investment.

“Last week’s budget does nothing to address these failures. All it will lead to is more austerity and more pain for families across North Ayrshire.

“It is true that the Scottish Parliament’s budget will increase by £188m in cash terms next year but it is nowhere near enough.

“It is now over to the SNP Government.

“Will they continue to pass on Tory cuts or will they finally use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to end austerity?

“Even when their budget has increased in cash terms, like last year when it increased by over £400m, the SNP Government have chosen to cut Council budgets by hundreds of millions of pounds. With £188m more in cash terms this year, will Councils like North Ayrshire see any of this money or will our grant be cut again?”

Councillor Marie Burns added: “If Scottish Labour genuinely wants a fresh start, stop blaming the SNP and start targeting the Tories for the lives that are being destroyed.

“The SNP has done everything it can within existing resources to protect public services.

“We are now asking for a constructive discussion with other parties on how those who can afford it can be asked to pay a little bit more in income tax.

“Let Labour now join with us on this and fight the Tories every step of the way.”