An economic think tank has questioned the transparency of the Holyrood Budget process
The SNP administration struck a deal with the Greens to get its revised Budget through the first stage of parliamentary scrutiny on Thursday, announcing the extra money, of which £160million will go to local councils.
The Fraser of Allander Institute highlighted the fact that only £30million of the extra cash comes from dropping plans to raise the higher rate tax allowance in line with inflation, and that the sources of the additional money are "as yet unclear".
The Government said the remaining extra cash comes from a combination of a drop in the cost of borrowing, underspends in previous budgets, and business rates savings.
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The Scottish Government announced an extra £220million not included in December's draft Budget
The institute said it "raises some questions about the transparency of the Budget process" and said it suspects a "significant part" is from underspends.
It turns out the SNP Government had tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money squirrelled away in their accounts
Murdo Fraser – Scottish Tory finance spokesman
It continued: "Obviously, there is clearly a negotiating advantage in holding back some monies as part of their tactics to get the Bill through, but similarly one can see MSPs from now on demanding greater clarity over what is really on the table."
Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tory finance spokesman, said: "This analysis from the respected Fraser of Allander Institute destroys any SNP claim that they have to charge people more tax than in the rest of the UK.
"Far from suffering from so-called cutbacks, it turns out the SNP Government had tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money squirrelled away in their accounts.
Murdo Fraser suggests the SNP could have returned this cash to working families in their pay cheques Sturgeon's top moments Fri, December 9, 2016
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"Instead of returning this to working families in their pay cheques, as they could have, they used it to buy off the Greens."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "It has now been over two months since the final decisions around the draft Budget were taken and it has been possible to obtain further clarity around underpinning income forecasts, expected spending levels in 2016-17 – including on demand-led budgets – and to re-examine the non-domestic rates forecasts.
"This has allowed adjustments to be made and will release the additional resources needed to fund these commitments."
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