Greens '˜hopeful' of Scottish budget deal with the SNP

Top earners in Scotland look set to face bigger income tax bills after the Greens moved closer to striking a budget deal with the SNP.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay outlines the Draft Scottish Budget. Picture: Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Scottish Green sources have told The Herald that they are “hopeful” of extracting tax concessions from Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

With 63 MSPs, the SNP needs the support or abstention of one other party to ensure the passage of its 2017-18 budget.

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Mr Mackay outlined his draft proposals last month.

Growing hopes of a Greens-SNP deal come after Willie Rennie, the leader of Scotland’s Liberal Democrats, said there was a “growing gap” between his party and the Government over the budget.

He previously said that any support from the LibDems would be conditional on £400 million of extra spending in areas such as education and policing.