The cabinet secretary should be clear that, in that ambition, he will have the support of the Scottish Conservatives. Does he agree that, as hard-working families across Scotland struggle with the consequences of Labour's recession, they would welcome a council tax freeze for a further year? Will he join me in condemning a Labour Party that is determined to hit those hard-working families with punishing council tax increases at a time when they can least afford to pay them?
I am not sure that I would venture on to such party-political ground on such a harmonious Thursday afternoon in the city of Edinburgh and our national Parliament. However, there is some substance in Mr Fraser's remark, which is a pleasant change.
One of the other issues with which members of the public are wrestling is the question of increased VAT, which, if my memory serves me correctly, was a product of the decision making of the Conservative-Liberal coalition in the United Kingdom Government.
The council tax freeze has been of enormous benefit to members of the public. It has protected them from the exponential increases in the council tax that took place under the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrat-Labour Executives. Thankfully, the council tax has been frozen since this Government came into office in 2007.
I was goaded into getting to my feet by Mr Fraser, whose knowledge of international economics could be written on the back of a stamp. As we all know, it was not Labour's recession; there was a global recession.
As far as council tax goes, we should not be surprised at the unholy alliance that is now emerging between the Tories and the Scottish
I am always grateful for help from the back benches. In East Dunbartonshire Council—the council area for which Mr Whitton is a member of Parliament—there is an unholy alliance between the Labour Party and the Conservatives in freezing out the SNP from the administration.
There are many examples of the necessity of political co-operation in this new political world that we all occupy.
I say to Mr Whitton that I am discussing the issue of a council tax freeze with our local authority partners and will continue to do so.
Has the Scottish Government carried out an estimate of who has gained most from the council tax freeze—families in the lowest income decile or families in the highest income decile?
Mr Purvis will know that we have published much analysis on that point. All citizens who pay the council tax will have appreciated that the council tax has not increased at all since this Government came to power—the citizens and council tax payers of Scotland will have welcomed that.