I SUPPOSE I shouldn’t have been surprised at any of the SNP’s desperate attempts to win some votes but Humza Yousaf’s freeze on council tax this week is beyond the pale.

Council tax, for all its unpopularity, is the lifeblood of local services. A freeze, while sounding sweet to the average homeowner, has bitter consequences. It’s a gimmick that might score points with voters but leaves councils scrambling to fill the financial void.

This is not about easing the burden on the public. This is a brazen political move that seems more geared towards courting votes rather than delivering genuine financial relief or improving the lives of Scots.

The SNP, under Yousaf’s leadership, appear to have disregarded the very essence of local governance, in a move that has had even their meek coalition partners, the Greens, questioning it.

Local authorities, not Holyrood, are best placed to understand and cater to the unique needs of their communities. They should have the financial autonomy to set rates in line with those needs. By imposing this freeze, the SNP are trampling over local governance, undermining the powers of local councils and jeopardising vital services.

I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at the sheer audacity of making such a sweeping announcement without prior consultation with Cosla. For a party that champions the cause of Scottish independence and self-determination, their disrespect for local governance is nothing short of hypocritical.

Cosla, the body that represents Scotland’s councils, plays a crucial role in ensuring local services are funded appropriately. It is the voice of local governance, and by sidelining it in this decision, Yousaf and the SNP are sending a clear message: local concerns are secondary to their political agenda.

Furthermore, where is this money coming from? Are we to believe that there’s a magical pot of gold in Holyrood that can cover this shortfall? Glasgow’s finances have been cut to the bone already by the Scottish Government since 2007 – are we now to believe it will give us a fair deal for our city?

And while the promise of no increase in council tax might sound enticing to many, it’s essential to understand what this really means. Think about the litter that might not get picked up, the community centres that might need to close, the support workers who might be made redundant. These are real consequences for real people.

Let’s also remember that council tax isn’t just a revenue source. It’s a tool that allows local authorities to address local disparities and ensure the needs of their community are met.

We should all be wary of such grandstanding announcements. While they might make for a good headline, the devil is always in the details. And as we delve deeper into this decision, it becomes evident that this is less about helping the people and more about furthering the SNP’s political ambitions.

The Scottish people deserve transparency. They deserve to know where the funds are coming from, and they deserve a government that respects local authority. We can only hope that, in the coming days, Yousaf and his team will provide the clarity and reassurances that the public so desperately needs.

In the meantime, we must continue to ask the hard questions. After all, it’s not just our money at stake – it’s the very fabric of our local communities and our city.