First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will unveil her programme for government four months before it is clear how much money will be available for Holyrood.
Details of Scottish public spending plans for next year will be delayed as the 2016/17 proposals will not be produced until after the UK Government’s spending review in late November.
That means it could be early January before Finance Secretary John Swinney makes a statement to Parliament about the first Budget where he will have to set a new Scottish rate of income tax.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The later-than-expected 2015 UK Spending Review publication means that we will not know what block grant will be available to Scottish ministers until November 2015, although it is clear that we face significant further austerity over the coming years.
“Scottish ministers will publish their forward spending plans following the outcome of the UK Spending Review.”
Scotland’s budget is expected to be cut once again as Chancellor George Osborne wants to save another £20 billion a year and he has warned unprotected departments to plan for cuts of between 25% and 40%.
The Treasury said: “Our long-term plan has created the conditions under which Scotland as part of the UK is thriving, and all parts of the UK now need to play their part in helping to eliminate the deficit, run a surplus and ensure Britain lives within its means.”
A delayed Scottish Budget would need to be fast-tracked and would give councils less time to prepare their own budgets, which are normally agreed in February.
Jackie Baillie, Labour’s public services spokeswoman, said: “The SNP always complain they can’t take action because they don’t have the power, yet here they are delaying making decisions with the new financial powers they have.
“This will be the first time the SNP can set a Scottish rate of income tax.”
A spokesman for local government body Cosla accepted it was “highly unlikely” it would receive news of its allocation in the normal timescale.
He said: “We anticipate figures in late December or early January based on timescales for previous spending reviews, which in terms of financial planning and decision-making is not the ideal situation.”
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “We want to see far greater certainty over how take home pay and disposable incomes will be affected by the new Scottish rate of income tax and the proposed replacement of council tax.”
Ms Sturgeon has called the new programme “bold and ambitious”.