A rail link connecting the airport and city centre was one of the arguments deployed by ministers in their successful pitch to attract the 2014 Commonwealth Games to Glasgow.

But yesterday the project became the biggest casualty of next year`s Scottish Government £30 billion budget.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said the budget represented a 0.9% cut in real terms, the first since 1999.

But critics have accused the SNP of an anti-Glasgow agenda and council leader Steve Purcell described the rail link decision as a “dagger in the heart” of the city.

Mr Swinney said a “commitment” had previously been given to the Commonwealth Games Federation that transport links would be improved in time for the Games, and the airport rail link was part of that proposition.

And the Budget also included support for the “Fastlink” initiative to improve public transport in Glasgow, Mr Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland`s Good Morning Scotland.

“We have explained to the Commonwealth Games Federation why in the current public expenditure circumstances we have got to take some tough decisions,” he said.

“What we have also explained to the Commonwealth Games Federation is that we are fulfilling all the commitments to complete the M74, to put in place the Fastlink initiative which will greatly assist connections within the city of Glasgow.”

He went on: “I think the commitment we have given to the Commonwealth Games Federation is very clear and very significant.

“I think it`s more than adequate to fulfil the commitments we have given about the improvement to transport connections.”

Denying charges of an anti-Glasgow agenda, Mr Swinney insisted: “When you look at the spending record of this Government, you will see that Glasgow comes out extremely well.

“Glasgow commands the highest level of per-person funding from the Scottish Government in local authority spending, in any mainland local authority.”

Labour has accused Mr Swinney of wasting money on “vanity projects” like the national conversation on independence and “giveaways” like free prescriptions in 2011.

It also argues Mr Swinney had £600 million more to spend this year.

But the Finance Secretary said the Budget was £500 million lower than what had been projected in 2007, and a real terms cut compared with the current year.

“If the Labour party is taking issue with those figures, they should go and take issue with the Chancellor,” he said.

He also defended a planned increase from £6 million to £9 million in the international development budget.

“I think it`s important that at a time when we all can see the difficulties and challenges that economic recession are posing across the globe, that we don`t forget our international obligations and that as a civilised society we act to fulfil those obligations,” he said.