Scots face massive council tax rises as cash-strapped council seek more powers to raise funds.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has asked to remove the cap for the rate of council tax which councils can set - which currently sits at three percent.

It said £500m of additional funding would be needed to help fund Scottish councils as authorities warn they face “devastating” financial black holes.

The demands are part of a new Blueprint for Local Government document launched on Monday by COSLA which warned without "proper resourcing" cuts to council services are inevitable, risking the country's recovery from the virus.

The blueprint document added the lack of funding has “immediate and long-term implications for local government’s ability to both manage the financial impacts of COVID-19 and continue to deliver essential services.”

“That is why fair funding for Local Government must be a central priority for Scotland," it added.

It also calls for a commitment to "fair funding" including funding for health and social care which "accounts for our new financial realities" and reversing ring-fencing of cash for children's services and education.

COSLA has called for fair funding of local government, longer-term certainty in relation to budgets and the “removal of a cap on council tax so that this is a truly local tax”.

It wants councils to “make spending decisions based on the priorities of communities”.

A previous COSLA paper which emerged in July said: “Given the initial forecasts from local authorities it would require a Council Tax increase in 2021/22 in excess of 50 percent.”

The blueprint states: "The ambition of local government is to drive forward an inclusive and sustainable recovery for Scotland. To do this, we must be able to invest in essential services and in local economies. This is not possible if vouncils are not properly funded and continue to face pressures to find significant savings to balance their significantly compromised books, which are under excessive strain following years of successive cuts.

"Before the pandemic, local government was already dealing with significant financial challenges. Councils are now facing considerable additional costs, with the financial pressures for 20/21 currently estimated at £500m.

"This has immediate and long-term implications for Local Government’s ability to both manage the financial impacts of Covid-19 and continue to deliver essential services. That is why fair funding for Local Government must be a central priority for Scotland.

Scottish Labour local government spokesperson Sarah Boyack said the Scottish Government should open cross-party talks on how to empower Scotland’s councils with "immediate effect".

She added: “The reality is that we’ve seen the damaging impact of increasing centralisation and underfunding of local government by the Scottish Government during the SNP’s time in power.

“Local government needs to be empowered not micro-managed.

“The Blueprint presented by COSLA offers the chance for a cross-party agreement that our councils need to be empowered with fair funding, long term certainty and more powers to make the decisions our communities need.

“It is time for the SNP to enter into dialogue with COSLA and other parties to ensure that the micro-managing and cuts to councils end.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “To date, the Scottish Government has committed £379 million of additional funding to local government for Covid-19 measures, on top of the local government finance settlement of £11.4 billion from this year’s budget.”

She said the government will continue to work with COSLA and councils.

“Local authorities are autonomous bodies, and it is the responsibility of individual councils to manage their own budgets and to allocate the total financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities,” she added.