Councils are short-changed as a result of a “rotten deal” on funding from the Scottish Government, the Scottish Conservatives have argued.
However, an SNP minister accused the Tories of having a “brass neck” in calling for more money while council funding in England was reducing.
The Scottish Parliament debated a motion from Conservative MSP Annie Wells on Wednesday.
The motion called for local government to have its own fiscal framework which would automatically entitle it to a portion of the Scottish budget each year.
Ms Wells said: “It is astonishing that as local councils face new and existing challenges responding to the needs of residents, the total amount of money the SNP government has given to local authorities has fallen by £276 million in real terms over the course of seven years.
“Let us be clear, long before the Covid-19 crisis began the SNP government has been short-changing Scotland’s councils.”
She said council budgets were only going up by 1% in 2021/22, compared to the Scottish Government receiving a 9% uplift.
Ms Wells continued: “It’s clear Scotland’s councils get a rotten deal from the SNP government, which means the Scottish people are getting a bad deal too.
“This must change and it’s clear the current funding model is no longer fit for purpose.”
Responding to Ms Wells, Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell said the government had been working with councils to develop a fiscal framework, but this had been paused due to the pandemic.
She said the cash increase for day-to-day spending for councils for the next financial year stood at £335.6 million, about 3.1%.
Ms Campbell said: “The Tories have a brass neck to come to this chamber arguing for one thing while their counterparts and colleagues in London to quite another.
“But they have form on that, they turn a blind eye to poverty while local government and national government have to mop up the mess of austerity that they pursue.”
Scottish Labour’s Sarah Boyack said there had been historic underfunding of councils.
She said: “The warm words from the Cabinet Secretary do not take away the fact that we’ve had over a decade of underfunding, with £937 million of cuts to non-core funding for our councils.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said councils had faced “the usual conjurer’s trick” from ministers – where money is ring-fenced for new responsibilities but costs end up being higher.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said the funding system for councils was “fundamentally broken”, but he disagreed with the solution put forward by the Conservatives.
He said: “The Greens have made this a priority every year since the SNP lost their majority.”