Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has admitted the Scottish Government Cabinet did not sign off Humza Yousaf’s controversial announcement to freeze council tax next year.

The decision was only made between 24 and 48 hours before Mr Yousaf made the announcement at the SNP conference on Tuesday, Ms Robison has added.

The council tax freeze has angered the umbrella organisation for Scottish councils, Cosla, as well as trade union leaders.

The only political party to explicitly warn against the move is the SNP’s government partner, the Scottish Greens.

Read more: Yousaf freezes council tax to help with cost-of-living crisis

Green finance spokesperson Ross Greer said he was "concerned about the effect this freeze could have on already-strained frontline public services if it is not properly funded".

Ms Robison, who met with Cosla chiefs yesterday, told BBC Good Morning Scotland that “this wasn’t signed off by Cabinet”.

She added: “This was a discussion that happened at political Cabinet and there were decisions made after that.

“It was a very short period of discussion that happened in the few days running up to the First Minister's speech. And of course, he did that because he has been listening to the views of the people of Scotland.

“The fact that people with household budgets are under strain and he wanted to respond to that he wanted to do more, respond to those.”

She added that “it had been discussed over the few days in the lead-up to the speech”, adding that “the decision was made in the kind of 24 or 48 hours before the speech decision was made to go ahead with this”.

Read more: Council leaders reject and 'deplore' Humza Yousaf's tax freeze plan

Ms Robison was asked why the decision wasn’t discussed in advance with Cosla.

She said: “The announcement it meant that the normal consultation and communication methods that we would follow around these things were not followed of the nature of this announcement.

“That was a late decision the discussions have been had and were kept pretty much under wraps.”

The Deputy First Minister, who is also the Finance Secretary, said that because it was a late decision to go ahead with the announcement, “there was therefore not the opportunity to do the normal consultation and communication that we would have of any decisions like this”.

She added: “I understand the concern about that and I've spoken to Cosla directly myself yesterday and understand their concerns about that.”

Ms Robison was asked whether she will hand over funding “if a council was in planning to mitigate cute by raising council tax” next year.

She said that the Scottish Government will “negotiate the quantum” with Cosla, adding that “we understand that the local authorities were planning different rates”.

She said: “We want to make sure this is fully funded in a reasonable and fair manner and that will be a negotiation with Cosla to agree the quantum as part of the budget settlement.”

Ms Robison also pointed to her administration’s Verity House agreement with local government, agreed earlier this year, which aimed to forge a better relationship with councils and remove ringfencing of funding for Scottish Government priorities.

She said: “It's important for a number of reasons, not least, the reduction of ring-fencing, for example, and of course moving forward with a different fiscal framework.

Read more: SNP 'lacking political will' for promised council tax revaluation

“So there's still a lot to be gained by local government through the Verity House agreement and I'm really keen to pursue that.”

But the Scottish Government has come under criticism for Ms Robison's admission that the Cabinet did not sign off the last-minute announcement.

Scottish Conservative shadow finance and local government secretary, Liz Smith, said: “Shona Robison has effectively confirmed that this announcement was rushed out for political reasons and to secure easy headlines for her party during their conference and pad out Humza Yousaf’s keynote speech.

The Herald: Scottish Tory finance spokesperson, Liz SmithScottish Tory finance spokesperson, Liz Smith (Image: PA)

“That lack of proper process has completely undermined local authorities, which is typical of the SNP’s attitude towards councils during their 16 years in power.”

She added: “The Deputy First Minister couldn’t even deny that this announcement means that the Verity House Agreement has been ripped up already.

“Pledging to negotiate with councils is completely meaningless given they had no idea this would be coming. Once again, they look set to bear the brunt of SNP funding cuts, which will impact crucial day-to-day services in communities across Scotland, that are already beyond breaking point.”