Councils are calling for an extra billion pounds from the Scottish government to stop slashes to local services.
The local government umbrella body Cosla says the government must “invest in parliaments before it is too late”.
It also says there should be no government-imposed limits on council tax rises.
The Scottish government says it has done its best for assemblies despite “UK government cuts”.
Cosla says an extra PS1bn of revenue funding would allow for new spend commitments, the impact of inflation and make up for parts in previous years.
The council organisation craves assemblies to get more fund from the Scottish government this year – and more capabilities to create their own money in the longer term.
It argues that agreements with the government to work together on areas such as education, state and social care mean other “unprotected” business such as libraries and regional roads and sidewalks have faced the brunt of cuts.
Cosla resources representative Gail McGregor said: “Ringfencing and Scottish government-devised policy initiatives mean that more and more has to be delivered from an ever declining section of neighbourhood budgets.
“The reality is that business such as streets, bus, meaning, parish study, episodes, athletics equipment, libraries, tourism, business corroborate and environmental health all sit unprotected.
“These services are what determine our communities enticing plazas to live, cultivate and visit.”
Councils are still waiting to hear how much fund they will get from the Scottish government in the coming financial year.
Councils and the Scottish government have both expressed concern about the implications of the delay in the UK government’s budget until 11 March – which is also the day by which committees should have set their parliament tax rates for the coming year.
The UK Treasury says there is nothing to stop the Scottish Parliament from surpassing their budget before the UK budget.
An HM Treasury spokesperson said: “We are working with the Scottish government as part of an agreed process to provide the information they need to prepare their budget.
“At the spending round, we has declared that the Scottish government’s block grant will increase by PS1. 2bn next year.”
Individual local authorities generally decide on their budgets and council tax rates in February and some are currently holding consultations on spending options for the coming year.
A Scottish government spokesman said: “Despite further chips to the Scottish budget from the UK government, we have ensured our partners in local government receive a fair funding colonization – delivering a funding parcel of PS11. 2bn for all local authorities in 2019 -2 0, which is a real terms increase of more than PS3 10 m.”
“While ring-fenced funding is for increased investment in services such as our schools and nurseries, local authorities have terminated independence to apportion over 92% – PS1 0.3 bn – of the funding we ply, plus all locally raised income.
“Decisions on budget allocations for future years are subject to the outcome of the current negotiations with Cosla. The answers will be confirmed as part of the Budget in due course.
“The failure of the UK government to publish its budget at an earlier day means we do not have clarity on the funding available for our institutions, hospices and other vital community service. Despite this, we remain focused on introducing a Scottish fund for 2020 -2 1 at a very early practical possibility, and are in discussions with Cosla on how we can support their budget process.”
Councils are heavily dependent on the Scottish government for their money.
Some of that money is spent on policy objectives agreed with the government – for example education and health and social care – and they have enjoyed protection.
They could be described as examples of “national services which are delivered locally”.
Other major sources of income include the council excise and business rates.
Cosla says national policy initiatives now account for 60% of council budgets – leaving less for those local services which are not protected by the government.
Cosla argues that areas of spending which are not protected by the government – including regional superhighways and sidewalks, libraries and trading standards – have felt the brunt of the parts and savings in recent years.
It says both governments contributed Scotland’s 32 congress an extra PS2 53 m last year but councils likewise had to deliver PS4 00 m worth of brand-new Scottish government commitments.
This led to a PS147m reduction in the core budget for local government so led to cuts and savings in some other services.
Last year councils were allowed to increase the council tax by up to 4.8% – the original 3% limit was loosened by the Scottish government in return for the assistance provided by the Greens to pass the budget.
However numerous councils opted for smaller mounts effectively foregoing some cash.
The public spending watchdog the Accounts Commission has previously spotlit how many local authorities have been using up their currency reserves.
Cosla reasons this requires no centrally-imposed limit on congres levy rises and that local authorities should be free to decide what rise is appropriate – committees would be accountable at local elections if they underrated the situation.
This year committees will gain the power to raise money through a levy on workplace parking. So far , no congres has confirmed it will use this superpower but some have ruled it out.
A consultation is also underway on the possibility of a charge on inn bedrooms – dubbed a “tourist tax” by some.
In the longer term, Cosla says councils should have a suite of capabilities like this and that each assembly should be free to decide what may or may not be right for its own area.