Aberdeen City Council has written to the Scottish Government and opposition leaders at Holyrood highlighting the business community’s “grave concerns” over the proposed budget settlement for the city.
Under Finance Minister Derek Mackay’s draft budget, the city’s revenue grant for the next year would be £317million – a cut of £13million.
Business rate hikes are also planned for the city, which it is feared could result in further job cuts for the struggling north-east economy.
Jenny Laing, the leader of Aberdeen City Council, has written to Mr Mackay to tell him that the local authority will not accept his terms until its finance chiefs have received a response from the four leaders of the opposition, who have been asked to push for a better deal for Aberdeen.
In her letter, Mrs Laing said : “Whilst, as always, we are prepared to play a leading role in stimulating economic growth in Scotland, we share the business community’s grave concerns regarding your proposed changes to business rates.
“The business community has indicated that the new business rate proposals have the potential to drive many businesses into insolvency or at best lead to further job losses.
“As stated previously, I cannot at this stage accept your terms given the advice from my S95 officer and the fact the terms offered are in my opinion detrimental to the citizens we both represent.
“I have therefore written under separate cover to all four leaders of the opposition parties in order to share the content of this letter and to ask if it is their intention to propose an increased financial offer to local government and, if so, to get details of how this will be done.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “We have received no rejections from councils.
“It is now for local authorities to finalise their budgets, including provision for each of the elements included in the package, at the council budget setting meetings which will take place over the coming weeks.
“The Scottish Government has treated local government very fairly despite the cuts to the Scottish Budget from the UK Government.
“The Scottish Government remains committed to supporting the economy in the north-east, including the Aberdeen City Deal and the additional £254million investment announced alongside.
“We are also investing £745million in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.”