Scottish firefighters will “inevitably” walk out if a deal in line with inflation is not offered, a union official has said.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union have already rejected two deals since this summer worth a 2% and 5% increase – as inflation soars to 10.7%.

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Scottish FBU secretary John McKenzie warned that the emergency staff could walk out for the third time in the history of the union.

A strike ballot is to close at the end of next month and could see industrial action take place by mid-February.

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Mr McKenzie said: “If employers can't find the position to improve that offer then, inevitably, I think we are looking at a positive vote for strike action and then, ultimately, that is what we will be left with at the end of next month."

The pay increase will be negotiated through UK-wide bargaining arrangements, but the Scottish Government has delivered a £10m uplift for SFRS funding for 2023/24.

However, Mr McKenzie claimed this falls short of the funding needed by the force.

"The reality of that is that is 3% increase on the previous budget allocation, but we are now looking at inflation running at almost 11%,” he said.

"That doesn't come close to covering the costs that the service is going to require and pay is obviously an element of that."

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The union boss added: "I think what is important is that funding for public services, and the fire service obviously falls within that, has to keep pace with inflation and this is just one of the hard truths of where we are just now."

Firefighters have only undertaken a national strike under the union twice before – the first from November 1977 to January 1978 and the second in 2002/03.

In the most recent industrial actions, the army was called in to provide assistance while the essential workers walked out.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Scottish ministers were once again considering drafting in the military if a strike were to go ahead.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "The Scottish government is not part of negotiations on firefighter pay, this is rightly a matter for SFRS as the employer.

"Firefighter pay is negotiated through UK wide collective bargaining. We encourage all sides to reach a sustainable and fair settlement on firefighter pay."