Scotland’s two Green ministers joined Humza Yousaf’s Cabinet for a crunch emergency meeting as the government partners attempt to thrash out a deal ahead of the budget being delivered in just 12 days’ time.

As well as the First Minister’s SNP cabinet secretaries, Green ministers and co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater also took part in the emergency cabinet meeting – as the two parties try to come to a deal amid a gloomy financial climate.

It is uncommon for the Green ministers to attend meetings of the Scottish Government's cabinet.

The co-operation agreement between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party states that "at least twice a year, the First Minister will invite the co-leaders of the Scottish Green Party to attend Cabinet." 

Between September 2022 and June 2023, 36 cabinet meetings were held - with Mr Harvie attending none of the meetings and Ms Slater attending four times.

The answer to your question is there were 36 Cabinet meetings between September 2022 and June 2023 (both months inclusive).

Mr Harvie did not attend any Cabinet meetings during this period. Ms Slater attended four Cabinet meetings during this period.

Mr Yousaf’s top team of ministers discussed the £60bn budget for next year at the emergency meeting.

It is thought that more discussions will be required, with the budget likely to feature heavily again when the cabinet meets in Haddington on Monday.

It is understood that Mr Yousaf and Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary Shona Robison are determined to hold their first budget on December 19, and for it to include their promised council tax freeze.

But their Green partners in government have raised concerns about the council tax freeze, amid concerns it could put local authorities under even more financial strain.

The stark discussions follow Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivering his autumn statement last week, which Ms Robison described as a “worst case scenario” for Scotland.

Mr Hunt said it would give Holyrood an extra £545m in this financial year and next year.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Cabinet met this evening and discussed the 2024-25 Scottish budget in the wake of the UK Government’s autumn statement.

“Additional time to look at options was required after ministers described this budget as the most challenging to be delivered since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, following a 'worst case scenario' UK Government autumn statement, reflecting the UK’s post-Brexit economic circumstances.

"The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the autumn statement will be 'more painful' for public services than the previous period of spending cuts in the UK, and this is the difficult context in which ministers are making budget decisions, as is also the case for the devolved Welsh Government.

"Discussions will continue as the detail of the budget is finalised."