A LOCAL politician has hailed a council cash boost offer which would enable a tax freeze.

Local MSP Kenneth Gibson has welcomed an offer of £2.18 million from the Scottish Government to North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to enable it to deliver a council tax freeze for financial year 2021/22, which begins in April.
Mr Gibson is calling on NAC to freeze council tax at current levels for the next year.
He said: “We all know the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had, on families, couples and people living alone. This is why the Scottish Government is keen to help.
“The decision whether or not to increase council tax lies with North Ayrshire councillors, and if they choose to do the right thing and freeze their rates this year, NAC will be fully supported to the tune of £2,182,000, equivalent to three per cent of council tax income."
The Scottish Government previously froze the council tax for nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2017, whilst it rose year on year in England.
The average Band D council tax is now £1,818 per year in England but £480 less - £1,338 - in Scotland. It is £1,343 here in North Ayrshire.
Under the Scottish Government's 2021/22 draft budget plans, a majority of taxpayers will also continue to pay less income tax than they would if they lived elsewhere in the UK.
Mr Gibson added: “In these tough times, the Scottish Government has proven that where Scotland has the powers, we will take a different approach to give Scots the fairest deal in the UK and I hope our local councillors will choose to accept these funds rather than levy additional taxes onto North Ayrshire residents.”
NAC will meet on Thursday March 4 online to set its 2021/22 budget and council tax.
However, Labour councillor Alex Gallagher has said that while a welcome relief to the financial burden they face, it is a 'pebble in the ocean' in relation to the £120m cuts to the council's budget over the past 10 years by central government.
Mr Gallagher said: "We will have to wait and see what happens with our budget.
"While this is welcome, it is a pebble in the ocean when you consider that the Scottish government have cut £120 million from our budget over the last 10 years and we could lose as much again over the next ten years.
"It is good that the Scottish government is doing something to help local authorities but I can't help but think it is playing games.
"All we are calling out for is fair treatment - and not to be used as a cash cow or a football as we deliver a lot of services that the Scottish government depend upon and they take credit although never pay for it.
"Any amount of money which is a small relief from the huge financial pressures we are being put under by the SNP is welcome as we endeavour to do everything we possibly can for our constituents."