A TIMESCALE for “fundamental” council tax reform will be unveiled in the coming weeks, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens has said.

Patrick Harvie, who joined the Scottish Government as tenants’ rights minister as part of the Bute House Agreement in 2021, said “long term” council tax policies must be set out following the December Budget.

The timetable for reform is expected to be put forward during stage three amendments of the Budget Bill, the PA news agency reported.

The SNP first pledged to reform council tax before first coming to power in 2007.

In the party's 2021 Holyrood manifesto, it said they were "committed" to reforming council tax "to make it fairer," but said a citizens' assembly would be convened to discuss the route forward.

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Speaking to the Daily Record, Harvie criticised the decision to freeze council tax, which formed the core of a surprise announcement from First Minister Humza Yousaf at the SNP conference last year.

The Green MSP said the move is “not sensible” as a long-term solution, saying instead that local government could see a shift in policy which would give them additional powers.

“We’ve had some success with additional tax powers for councils, like the workplace parking levy that Edinburgh is now looking at developing, or the tourist tax that a number of other councils are positive about,” he said.

“Partly as a result of what happened, and the reaction to the freeze, there will be a timescale agreed for fundamental reform. Local government are keen for that. They are quite rightly concerned about how the freeze was announced and the impact that will have on them.

“They are keen on the idea that we actually act together on reform.

“The timescale is to be set out during the course of the Budget process.

“By the time we get to the final votes on the Budget, we expect to have details to be able to set out on the process.”

The National: Government minister Patrick Harvie (Jane Barlow/PA)

Harvie (above) also told the Record that the policy to freeze council tax “wouldn’t have been our choice”.

He added: “Not just in terms of what it is, but the way it was announced, with local government being blindsided by it.

“If the SNP has an instinctive feeling that people want something done about it, it has to go beyond the short-term.

“It’s not a sensible policy for the long-term. It results in a local tax system that is even more out of date and out of kilter.”

The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.