Today, SNP Finance Secretary Shona Robison asks parliament to vote for her draft budget. On the menu is a £196 million cut in funding for affordable, social housing. This comes amidst an agonising housing crisis in Scotland.

In a letter to the Government protesting the cuts from the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Homes for Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing, the facts are baldly stated: 1 in 20 people are on social housing waiting lists; 30,000 are homeless; and nearly 10,000 children are growing up in temporary accommodation.

“We just aren’t building the homes that Scotland needs, and all the time the situation is getting worse. This simply isn’t right,” the letter says. “Safe, warm, affordable housing is a basic human right. This budget is a hammer blow to your mission for Scotland to be a country of equality, opportunity and community for everyone. This is the worst possible decision at the worst possible time.”

The cut reduces the affordable homes budget by a quarter. The letter is endorsed by the anti-poverty think-tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Yet, the SNP stands up for Scotland.

On Sunday, we learned that SNP Education Secretary, Jenny Gilruth hadn’t read a report outlining the level of violence in Aberdeen schools. The EIS poll of nearly 800 members found almost half reporting pupil violence daily; 37% said they’d been physically assaulted; 60% were considering leaving teaching.

Last November, the EIS found that nationwide 83% of schools reported violence weekly.

When questioned by the BBC, Gilruth claimed the Aberdeen report couldn’t be used to measure the “national picture”. Yet we discovered she hadn’t read the document. This was “a matter” for Aberdeen Council, she claimed.

Education is being savaged. Lack of funding means Glasgow is cutting teaching posts. Falkirk and Perth and Kinross plan to shorten the school week.

Teachers I’ve spoken to say violence is often linked to the lack of Additional Support Needs staff. Some schools have no ASN staff.

Yet, the SNP stands up for Scotland.

The Herald: Finance Secretary Shona RobisonFinance Secretary Shona Robison (Image: PA)

Audit Scotland has issued a report which reads like an obituary for the NHS. The Scottish NHS, it found, was “struggling to provide healthcare … most waiting time standards are not being met”.

It warned: “Operational performance and workforce capacity challenges are having a direct impact on patient safety.” There’s “no overall vision”; a “clear national strategy” is required.

The BMA called it “staggeringly bleak”. Humza Yousaf responded by saying the Scottish NHS outperforms the English NHS, as if neighbourly failure excuses personal negligence.

Yet, the SNP stands up for Scotland.

Police Scotland is considering not investigating every crime. Minor offences - some thefts, anti-social behaviour and vandalism - will be closed if there’s no leads.

Scottish police are as exhausted as nurses and teachers. Earlier this month, it emerged that police numbers have reached their lowest level for more than 15 years.

Once again, the SNP pointed southward. Justice Secretary Angela Constance said Scotland has higher numbers of officers per person than English forces.

Police officers I’ve spoken to say huge amounts of their time is taken up responding to mental health problems among the public that could and should be dealt with by the NHS and social work - if, of course, NHS staff and social workers were adequately funded and not run ragged themselves.

Yet, the SNP stands up for Scotland.

If there was a Tory or Labour government in Holyrood, and it was failing like this, be sure the first people on their feet screaming would - rightly - be the SNP and its supporters.

Evidently, the Conservative Party has created the circumstances in which all devolved governments must operate.

But the failure we’re seeing in Scotland is about much more than the SNP struggling to cope with a situation of Westminster’s doing. Gilruth is not across her brief. Audit Scotland says there’s no “vision” for the NHS.

The SNP has powers available to protect Scotland yet doesn’t use them. On housing: why not "borrow to build?" The SNP pretends Scotland doesn’t have the powers necessary for change to happen. Mhairi Black MP even claimed Scotland has “no borrowing powers whatsoever”. That’s entirely false.

Neil Mackay: Scotland, a land of small ideas

Neil Mackay: Yousaf must be bold with his budget

Neil Mackay: The SNP has sold out the poor for middle-class votes

The Scottish Government has taken a bad situation created by the Conservatives and made it worse through laziness and inadequacy. The SNP aren’t the Tories. They’re a weak copy of the Tories when it comes to failure. A watered-down version.

The SNP has threatened to withhold money unless local authorities agree to freeze council tax. This policy benefits the rich over the poor, and brutalises public services.

Yet, the SNP puts Scotland first.

Yousaf also refuses to back an extension of the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Even when it comes to the gross division whipped up by the Conservatives, in the shape of extremists like Lee Anderson, there are reflections within the SNP.

Yousaf has posted images of a newspaper front page portraying Labour politicians, including Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, as “traitors”. It wasn’t clever for the Press and Journal to publish that front page. It was even more stupid of the First Minister to amplify such language in a divided nation.

Again, the SNP comes nowhere near the level of malevolence evinced by the Tory Party - but the glimmer is there. And once more, when Conservative politicians do foment such bitterness, the SNP and its members are first on their feet complaining. Rightly so. But they never hold themselves to similar standards.

The social contract is a relatively simply notion at the heart of democracy. In return for the power we grant politicians through our votes, they are meant to build and maintain a society which protects and values us.

The Herald: Education Secretary Jenny GilruthEducation Secretary Jenny Gilruth (Image: PA)

The social contract could be summed up by the SNP’s mantra: ’standing up for Scotland’.

But Scotland hasn’t been protected. The SNP has hurt Scotland. Yes, circumstances were forced upon the Scottish Government by a delinquent London administration, but the SNP has failed repeatedly to deal adequately with those circumstances when it had powers to do so.

Policing, health, education, housing. When it comes to essential public services, the SNP has broken the social contract between government and people. It renders itself unfit to rule. Its claim to stand up for Scotland is a lie.