Highland Council will know early next week how much money it will get for 2019/20 from the Scottish Government, and the news could be worse than anticipated.
The council has planned for a 1% cut, but may now be faced with 2% cut to the core grant, meaning a further £4.3 million to find to provide services.
Corporate resources director Derek Yule said it will be Monday before they know the allocation for the council, but Cosla was predicting a 2% cut in real terms to local authorities.
He said: “It’s extremely challenging and not getting easier due to a number of risks out of the council’s control, like pay awards and teachers’ pensions.
“But let’s not forget that the the council has a budget of £600 million to deliver services.”
Budget leader Alister Mackinnon said: “We have planned a three year budget, if the cut is 2% it is possible we could accelerate the savings that we had projected for year 2 and take them into year 1.
“We’re committed to closing the budget gap and spending less by delivering services more efficiently while ensuring communities have a say. Staff and community input to our budget consultations has been humbling and encouraging.”