SNP councillors will not support a council tax rise of nearly five per cent in Inverclyde despite a hike being given the green light by the Scottish Government.

Nationalist group leader Chris McEleny says it would be too much of an additional financial burden on people who are already struggling.

The Scottish Government last week decided to let councils raise the tax by up to 4.79 per cent - lifting the initial three per cent cap.

Councillor Stephen McCabe, who runs the Labour-led Inverclyde administration, admits increasing the levy by the full amount would be 'unpalatable' but says it might be necessary to help shave £500,000 off a £2.5 million funding gap.

But his SNP counterpart says he will not back such a move.

Councillor McEleny said: "We need to appreciate the pressure on household budgets and we will be supporting council tax plans that keep any increases to three per cent or under. "I hope there can be a sensible consensus reached.

"For a lot of people an increase of nearly five per cent would just be too much."

The Scottish budget cleared a key hurdle on Thursday after the SNP struck a deal with the Greens to give councils more money.

There could also be new ways to increase revenue, including a controversial workplace 'parking tax' and the power to introduce a 'tourism tax', which could be passed onto the 100,000-plus cruise passengers who visit Greenock each year.

Finance secretary, Derek Mackay, says the enhanced package 'offers up to' £187m of additional money for councils, on top of the £11.1bn local government settlement.

Mr McEleny said: "The new tourist tax powers could provide welcome further revenue to Inverclyde by adding a small tax onto cruise passengers, so that's a policy we are keen to see how we can benefit from."

Opponents argue that councils are underfunded by the government but the local SNP group leader says an additional £90m is being made available towards day-to-day running costs.

Councillor McEleny said: "It's unfortunate that other parties didn't want to work with the Scottish Government but I hope this budget brings stability at a time when people are fed up of the instability Brexit keeps bringing us.

"The council will certainly benefit from this funding. "We already knew that more money was coming to Inverclyde - more than we received last year - to fund new policy initiatives but the extra cash towards our revenue budget will help the upcoming budget of the council."