The SNP had to accept stinging criticism of their council tax reforms in order to force the controversial plans through Holyrood.
Middle-class homeowners in the north of Scotland will now see their bills rise by up to £554 after red-faced ministers swallowed their pride to admit the changes “undermine the principle of local accountability and autonomy”.
Councils will be unable to spend the expected £100million windfall from the hike, which instead will be clawed-back into central government coffers and spent across the country.
Under the plans, which will now take affect from next year, Aberdeenshire residents will cough-up as much as £30million in extra council tax over the next five years to be pumped into schools elsewhere in Scotland.
In Aberdeen, families will pay-out £17million to be spent on educating children elsewhere in the country over the same period. Highland taxpayers will see more than £5million of their money spent elsewhere.
Last night Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay said the changes will make council tax “more progressive”.
But speaking after the vote, North East MSP Mike Rumbles said: “This vote undermines local democracy by imposing an unfair redistribution mechanism over the heads of councils.
“What the SNP have done here with their smash and grab raid is raise the council tax for over 40% of households in the north-east at the same time as cutting the grant, so taxes rise but are not available to be spent locally with funds being diverted to the central belt.
“North-east SNP MSPs should hang their heads in shame.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr added: “It must be embarrassing for SNP ministers to have to swallow their pride and accept stinging criticism of their own tax plans.
“However, the people of the north-east will care little for the convoluted voting process.
“The grim reality of the vote is that thousands of middle income families now face an increase in their council tax bills, without seeing the benefit of that rise in their local area.”
With parliamentary approval now secured, next year council tax for Band E homes will rise by 7.5%, increasing to 22.5% in Band H properties, the equivalent of an extra £554 a year in Aberdeen.
But the additional revenues will be clawed back by central government and put into the Attainment Fund, to then be distributed to schools across the country based on the number of pupils receiving free meals.
Rates for Band D and below homes will not change.
The Green Party amendment, which the SNP was eventually forced to support, stated parliament “regrets that the Scottish Government’s proposals for council tax reform undermine the principle of local accountability and autonomy and fail to address a number of issues identified by the Commission on Local Tax Reform”.
Speaking after the vote, Mr Mackay said: “The steps we have taken pave the way for additional investment in schools right across Scotland to help close the attainment gap and are the first step in a journey of reform to make local taxation fairer.
“Our changes also make council tax more progressive and ensure that three quarters of households will see no rise in their bills as a result of these reforms.”