The Scottish Finance Secretary has said he does not envisage personal taxes rising if Scotland becomes independent.
John Swinney also said he would not increase taxes on the oil industry and that he would want a "competitive" tax regime for businesses.
He made the comments as he defended the spending plans set out in his Budget for 2013-14. The Budget was passed by Holyrood on Wednesday night, despite Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats voting against it.
Mr Swinney again opted not to use the limited tax-raising powers he has in his Budget. He told BBC Radio Scotland: "I don't think at this particular moment, in terms of the pressure that household finances are under, that this would be a moment for a tax rise for households."
He added that he did not expect personal taxes to increase if Scotland left the UK and gained full control of taxation, saying on the Good Morning Scotland programme: "I don't envisage increases in personal taxation in an independent Scotland."
With the Scottish Government's funding of colleges coming in for particular criticism, Mr Swinney conceded he had to make "some difficult decisions right across the different areas of public expenditure".
Further education had been facing a budget cut of £34.6 million. Mr Swinney announced an additional £10 million of cash for the sector for next year, so spending in this area will now fall by £24.6 million. In addition, a further £51 million will be given to colleges in 2014-15.
But Labour finance spokesman Ken Macintosh argued that the Finance Secretary should have found £34.6 million for colleges to prevent the sector from having its budget cut. He branded the additional £10 million as a "token gesture", and told BBC Radio Scotland: "He's done this two years running, deliberately announce a bigger cut, slightly roll back from it and pretend he's somehow giving money back. It's really quite shameless."
Tory Gavin Brown told the same programme his party too would restore the college cuts in full, arguing: "At a time of high unemployment I think getting money into colleges has to be a priority."
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie claimed the £10 million additional cash for colleges was "simply not enough" as he branded it "an insult".