Deputy first minister Shona Robison has insisted “no decisions” have been taken on whether to hike council tax on a quarter of Scotland’s home next year, despite SNP ministers proposing it.

The Scottish Government launched a consultation in July on raising the relative bills for Band E to Band H homes by 7.5%, 12,5%, 17.5% and 22.5% respectively.

It said the "proposal" would raise the council tax bills for those properties by £139, £288, £485 and £781 per year respectively and raise £176million for council coffers.

The consultation on the move, which was also done in 2017, closed on Wednesday.

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Despite the Scottish Government gearing up for the 2024/25 budget at the moment, Ms Robison, who is also finance secretary, told FMQs the outcome was still undecided.

It followed Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar linking the SNP’s failure to curb waste in the NHS to the prospect of the Government changing the formula for council tax.

He unsettled Ms Robison by reminding her of the promise she made as Health Secretary to abolish delayed discharge, or bed-blocking, by the end of 2015.

“Since she made that promise, how many people have died while waiting to leave hospital how many bed days have been lost, and how much has it cost the taxpayer?” he asked.

A hesitant Ms Robison, who was covering for Humza Yousaf while he was at Climate Week in New York, replied: “We absolutely remain committed to eradicating delayed discharge, and when I said that when I was health secretary we absolutely were determined then as we are now. But Anas Sarwar will understand that it is very challenging to do.”

Mr Sarwar said she was “in denial”, as nearly 4.5million bed days had been lost, over 2,300 people had died while waiting to leave hospital and £1.1billion had been wasted.

“Shona Robison promised to end this eight years ago, long before Covid, and now people are being asked to pay for that failure during a cost-of-living crisis.

“One in four households facing a council tax rise of up to 22%, an increase of £740 a year, an income tax rise for people earning as little as £28,000, and now proposing a £15 day charge to drive to work [in a polluting vehicle] .

“Why are working people who have already been hit by the Tory mortgage bombshell being asked to pay the bill for your incompetence and failure?”

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Ms Robison said: “Why is it someone in a Band H property pays so much less as a proportion of their property value than someone in a Band A property?  As someone in a higher band property I don’t think that’s fair. Why does Anas Sarwar think that is fair? 

“It is not credible for Anas Sarwar to come here and say no to progressive taxation when it comes to income tax, no to any changes in terms of local taxation, and demands money be spent on public services. ”

Mr Sarwar replied: “You’ve been in government 16 years and that’s the best answer you can give? The deputy first minister just doesn’t get it.”

He said a two-child family in Cambuslang - which is covered by the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election - where the mother was a nurse and the father is a teacher already face “skyrocketing”  increases in their food costs, energy bills and mortgage payments.

“Now the SNP want to make that worse by asking both mum and dad to pay more income tax, to pay hundreds of pounds more in council tax, and £15 a day to get to their work in Glasgow. 

“This family is being let down by both Tory and SNP incompetence, both making life harder for working people.

“So why can’t the deputy first minister see that the people of Scotland are being asked to pay the price for SNP failure?”

Ms Robison said: What we do know is that Anas Sarwar is now getting his orders from  Keir Starmer, and that is to not promise anything in terms of progressive taxation and to turn his back on raising additional funds.

“What Anas Sarwar should remember is that if we had followed what he seems to be suggesting, the Tory tax policies, we would have a billion pounds less for public services in our coffers. That’s what Anas Sarwar seems to be saying.

“There is a consultation on council tax. No decisions have been made in terms of council tax increases and he should not be saying to the people of Rutherglen or anywhere else that that is the case, because that is to mislead.”

She said the nurse and teacher he mentioned would be getting higher wages in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

“We will get on with paying public workers with what they deserve to be paid and supporting households incomes. Anas Sarwa will side with the Tories against progressive taxation. What a place for Labour to end up.”