Furious opposition parties accuse the SNP-Green coalition of ‘messing about with pretend embassies, while teachers and nurses are suffering a real terms pay cut’

The SNP has boosted the amount of taxpayer’s money lavished on its network of ‘shadow embassies’ from £8million to more than £9m.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes set out her spending plans for 2022/23 at Holyrood on Thursday, giving the green light for swingeing council tax rises next year and entrenching Scotland as the most heavily-taxed part of the UK.

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