LABOUR is to force a vote of "no confidence" in the Scottish Government's draft budget.

The party says the spending plans do not protect public services in Scotland, but deliver an effective £700 million cut to lifeline local services.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay has said councils could mitigate these cuts by raising council tax by three per cent.

However, Scottish Labour believes this will only raise additional revenue worth £77m – just over 10 per cent of the £700m shortfall.

The party also says the draft budget "provides no additional funding" to lift the pay of local government staff.

Labour plans to use debating time at Holyrood this week to force a vote on the plans.

Scottish Labour finance spokesman James Kelly said: "Derek Mackay's budget as it stands does not halt austerity in Scotland and will just mean more cuts to hard-pressed public services.

"It is not a spending plan that Labour can support – so we will force a vote of no confidence in it later this week.

"Councils deliver key services that people rely on – from our schools and housing, to roads and social care. Yet every single year they bear the brunt of SNP cuts in the budget – £1.5bn since 2011 alone. It is simply unsustainable."

However, a spokesperson for the finance secretary accused Labour of a "pathetic stunt".

Mackay's spokesman said: "Voting against the Scottish budget will be a vote against investing in childcare, our schools, hospitals and other vital public services, giving them the funds they need to deliver better services for all of Scotland - and providing the staff who work there the pay rise they deserve and which the UK Tory government has failed to deliver.

"There is a strong consensus across Scottish society backing this budget to keep driving Scotland forward.

"Politicians from all parties should get behind these progressive plans.

"Labour will no doubt be voting with the Tories for this pathetic stunt, as the lines between the two parties become increasingly blurred."