Scotland on Sunday: The Budget will be a fiction on a scale of its own

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Not only has the basic rate since fallen to 20 per cent, but the amount of our income we get to keep has also risen to a 36-year high. Tax Freedom Day, which is the day you stop working for the government and get to keep your salary, came on 14 May this year, 135 days into the year. But this marked the lowest contribution made by taxpayers to government expenditure since 1973, another period of economic turmoil.

However, the Adam Smith Institute, which calculates where Tax Freedom Day falls each year, warned that if the government had raised taxes to take account of the money we owe, this year's Tax Freedom Day would have been postponed until 25 June. From the taxpayers' perspective, this would be the longest they would have had to work for the government in any year since records began in the 1960s.

The only one to come near was 1982, when taxpayers only stopped working to pay for government expenditure on 20 June, a time when the economy was similarly recovering after two years of recession and trying to pay off huge debts.

Published in the Scotland on Sunday here.