FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf is set to hold an emergency meeting of the Cabinet amid concern about the Scottish Budget following the UK's Autumn Statement.

It is reported a second meeting this week will be held on Thursday evening.

Yousaf had aimed to conclude discussions with SNP and Green ministers earlier on Tuesday.

It is possible the Budget will be discussed again when the Cabinet meets in Haddington on Monday, if Thursday fails to yield a conclusion for the £60bn budget for 2024/25.

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With Deputy First Minister and Scottish Finance Secretary Shona Robison due to unveil her plans for 2024-25 in just over two weeks’ time, it is understood it will include the promised council tax freeze.

Yousaf’s announcement of a council tax freeze for Scots without having consulted local authority leaders or the SNP’s partners in government was branded “frustrating” by Scottish Government minister and Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater at the time.

She spoke out about the announcement made by Yousaf to the SNP conference in October. 

Slater said Greens would be “pushing hard” to ensure councils receive adequate funding from the Government to cover the costs of freezing the levy.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said decisions on tax for 2024-25 would “be made as part of this month’s Budget” and added that “longer-term reforms to the council tax system” are being considered by a joint working group set up with the Scottish Government and local authority body Cosla.

Robison warned at a recent appearance in Holyrood that public sector spending will be “extremely difficult indeed” as a result of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement.

Robison accused Hunt of failing “to provide the funding that devolved governments need”.

Speaking in Holyrood, Robison told MSPs “this makes the challenges for our Budget next year even more severe, including for the NHS”.

Robison said: “Prior to the Autumn Statement, I wrote to the Chancellor urging him to provide a funding settlement that enables us to invest in public services, vital infrastructure and fair public sector pay increases.

“We have seen no such thing from the Autumn Statement, and what has emerged is a set of choices that will have a devastating impact on our public services next year.

“This Autumn Statement simply does not go far enough in delivering the funding that we need.

“This makes the challenges on our budget even more severe.”