Last Thursday (25/02), SNP and Independent councillors forced through a budget that will see £29.7m worth of cuts to local services.
All agree that the harmful cuts will undermine care of older folk, and slash support for children and people on low wages.
The Highland Liberal Democrat council group called for support for a £1m poverty fund be put in place to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. But SNP in the chamber 'refused to rally' behind the forward thinking measure.
Councillor and Highland Lib Dem group leader Alasdair Christie said: "We had a chance to make sure that the worst off in and most vulnerable in the Highlands were protected from these cuts from Edinburgh, but the SNP refused to rally behind our proposal and back the amendment. They call themselves anti-austerity party but instead they are agreeing with Tory Westminster tax plans - the poverty created by these cuts beggars belief.
"The SNP Government have forgotten that many people in the Highlands face different challenges to those in the central belt. Often essentials like energy and fuel are more expensive, a trip to the hospital or the supermarket can take hours on public transport, and people are far more likely to be cut off from family and friends.
"Support within our communities has always helped, but these cuts are pulling the rug out from under many families and vulnerable people. Our poverty fund fund would have ensured that no-one would be forced to choose between heating or food, and that deprived children could afford clean clothes and a meal on the table."