Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Thursday, 20 January 2011

Green debate: Protecting public services in Scotland

Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie told MSPs the Tartan Tax "ought to be restored to be available to be used", during a debate on protecting public services on 20 January 2010.

Last year First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Secretary John Swinney apologised for not keeping MSPs informed about the loss of the Tartan Tax powers or Scottish Variable Rate.

Mr Harvie said the "UK government cuts would impact on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society."

The Green MSP added it would be a mistake for the Scottish government to simply hand on the UK government cuts to Scottish public services.

He said the government should amend the government to reduce the cuts by incorporating progressive ways to raise revenue at a local level within the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Variable Rate tax power "exists in law", that the issue was whether IT systems can deliver the tax and that he did not inherit a system that could do that.

Mr Harvie's motions was amended by the finance secretary and was passed at decision time.

The amended motion called for all parties in the parliament to work together to deliver a balanced budget that would safeguard services and strengthen economic growth for Scotland

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