A SCOTTISH local authority is considering a 10% council tax rise.

The ruling coalition on Argyll and Bute Council, which is led by LibDem Robin Currie with the support of Tories and independents, said it had made the decision in the face of “enormous” budget challenges.

Any council tax rise would be at odds with the pledge made by First Minister Humza Yousaf in October that the charge would be frozen across Scotland.

But in a statement issued to the Local Democracy Reporting Service on January 23, councillors from the ruling Argyll Lomond and Isles Group (TALIG) coalition claimed they had been left with no choice but to consider the increase.

Helensburgh Central Conservative Councillor Gary Mulvaney, the policy lead for finance and commercial services, said: “The council revenue budget has seen over £70 million of cuts since 2010. As it stands today, we still look over the precipice, with over a £20m revenue gap projected in the next few years.

“In addition, the capital funding from the SNP government has significantly reduced over the years and as a result of this and pressures outwith our control we are now faced with a current capital gap in excess of £20m.

“Meeting as a group last weekend it was clear to us that the funding being offered by the Scottish Government to freeze council tax this year was inadequate.

“The Scottish Government speak of increases, but when you look at the detail and do the calculations, there are cuts, plain and simple. No amount of SNP spin can disguise that.

READ MORE: Council tax freeze 'will result in cuts to vital services' amid £160m cash shortfall

“Faced once again with unpalatable options for a balanced budget this year and with a need to think about next year too, we reluctantly considered that a council tax rise of 10 per cent would be needed to protect the services people in Argyll and Bute rely on.”

Council leader Currie added: “Members have expressed real anger over the announcement of a council tax freeze at a party political conference last year. This shows a Scottish Government turning their backs on the Verity House agreement, which only a few months ago gave the promise of respect for local accountability and decision making.

“As an administration we will continue to work with Cosla [the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities] to press the Scottish Government for fair funding to save our services.

“However, with the current offer we will have no choice but to consider increasing council tax by 10 per cent.” He added: “The alternative to not increase council tax would mean drastic cuts to many of the council services, indeed getting rid of some services altogether, and I don’t think that is something our communities want.”

The council is due to set its budget on Thursday, February 22. Information is expected in the build-up to that meeting about what other service cuts and changes, if any, will be considered.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.