Speaking after a meeting with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities in Edinburgh yesterday, the minister said:
'Obviously I cannot reveal details of the spending plans which will be formally announced in parliament next Wednesday.
'However, I promised to involve Scottish local authorities in discussions leading up to the plans and this morning's meeting was the last with Cosla before the spending statement.
'While I expect Scotland's local authorities to continue the drive for improved performance, greater efficiency and best value in the delivery of services, the spending plans I announce next week will include for the next three years, an element for cost increases in pay and other prices reflecting the new partnership in local government finance which we are putting in place.
'Negotiations remain a matter for the council management and the trade unions.'