Salmond urges Scottish Government not to u-turn on Council Tax Freeze

FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond has urged the Scottish Government to fund a Council Tax Freeze in this year’s budget and not perform a policy U-turn as a result of pressure against the policy.

Council umbrella group COSLA wants the Scottish Government to agree to Council Tax rises instead of a freeze.

Ministers have offered £144m, the equivalent of cancelling a 5pc rise, but councillors say Government cuts elsewhere mean the funding only offsets a 2.8pc council tax rise.

In a letter to Finance Secretary Shona Robison, senior COSLA figures including SNP Councillors Shona Morrison and Katie Hagmann said of the funding:

"This is not a viable position, and we would ask that you consider what could be achieved across our policy priorities with, at the very least, restoration of our expected revenue budget combined with a compromise reached on what increases could be implemented locally.”

However, Mr Salmond has urged the Scottish Government to hold its nerve and not buckle to pressure from Town Hall bosses.

As First Minister, Alex Salmond’s Government froze Council Tax for seven years. The now Alba Party leader had called on the Scottish Government to freeze Council Tax ahead of last year's draft Scottish budget and has now urged Humza Yousaf not to “buckle” under pressure from local Councils and to ensure that Council Tax is frozen this year as promised.

Commenting former First Minister and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond said:

"When I was First Minister my Government froze the Council Tax

"For seven years to protect living standards - and he did this whilst managing to fund many other popular policies such as scrapping bridge tolls, the free bus pass, free prescriptions, and free tuition for young people across Scotland.

"Humza Yousaf must stand up to town hall bosses and resist a U-turn on Council Tax. People now expect that their Council Tax will be frozen and that’s exactly what the Scottish Government must do - anything else would be a betrayal of a promise that the SNP have already cashed in."

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