Ruth Davidson is fighting for Holyrood to be given a five year safety net in its devolution deal with the Treasury, The Courier has learned.
The Scottish Conservative leader has been under pressure from the SNP to state her position on the cash terms which will underpin the Scotland Bill.
Senior Tory sources said she is broadly supportive of the UK Government position but wants Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands to underwrite any potential shortfall in the budget north of the border during what is essentially a financial trial period.
A source close to Ms Davidson said: “It means we can adopt these powers in the short term knowing there is an insurance policy that comes with them.”
The system would be reviewed in around five years’ time and an evidence based approach would be taken to judge whether or not it is fair to both Scotland and the UK.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the Treasury proposals for the fiscal framework would leave the Scottish Government £3 billion worse off over the next decade.
SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “Ruth Davidson can set an example to the rest of her party that the Tories are actually serious about reaching a deal.”
It has also emerged that no face-to-face meeting is in the diary between the ministers negotiating a fiscal framework – just days before the deadline for an agreement.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Greg Hands, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, had a telephone call yesterday.
But with Mr Hands in France on a family holiday, and having cancelled a planned conversation on Monday, no fixed date has been set for the two to sit down and thrash out an agreement.
Bruce Crawford, the convener of Holyrood’s Devolution Committee, has set a deadline of ministers’ being able to explain their position on February 23 if there is to be time to scrutinise the agreement before parliament dissolves for May’s election.