The Scottish Government’s budget for the coming financial year passed with the unsurprising support of the Scottish Greens, despite pledges from the latter that they would not do so if the budget cut funding to councils.

The draft Scottish budget for 2019/20 would have slashed budgets of local authorities by £319million. Now with the support of the Greens, the Scottish Government are expected to cut council budgets by over £200million.

Council budgets have been cut by £1.5billion since 2011, meaning cuts to education, social care, infrastructure investment and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

The SNP and Greens talk left. Their actions and austerity alliance show otherwise.

Last week in the Parliament, I took part in two debates; the first on tackling social isolation and loneliness, the other on the presumption to mainstream.

Tackling social isolation and loneliness can only be achieved with investment in local services, such as libraries, community centres and recreational facilities; all services provided by local governments.

Social isolation and loneliness costs public services in treating and supporting people with the further problems these issues cause.

During my speech I argued that local authorities are the key drivers in building cohesive communities. They cannot do so in the face of continued austerity.

The second debate focussed on the presumption to mainstream. For anyone not familiar with this term, it basically means that all children should attend a mainstream school, if their needs can be met. It is a crucial part of our education system that benefits children with additional support needs (ASN), creating a more inclusive system for all.

For many children with additional support needs, they are being let down by cuts to education. Cuts that have resulted in 3,000 fewer teachers since the SNP came to power. Cuts that have lost over 140 specialist teachers across Scotland. Cuts that have reduced the number of support staff in our schools.

At the same time as these cuts have taken place, the number of children identified with having additional support needs has increased by 40,000. This places further pressures on schools and teachers.

Teachers are concerned about the support for teaching children with additional support needs, with 79% of teacher telling an EIS survey that the provision for children with ASN is inadequate and half of the teacher surveyed say that supporting children with additional support needs is causing stress.

Not only are cuts to education affecting children in their learning, they are impacting on the lives of teachers and their ability to properly support children.

These are the consequences of austerity. Imposed by Westminster and then exacerbated by the Scottish Government to councils.