A GLASGOW City councillor has called for council tax to be suspended to ease the financial strain being caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leader of the Conservative group Thomas Kerr has written to the city council's treasurer urging him to look into a "moratorium" on council tax payments.

Kerr wrote that if a full suspension was not possible, then delayed payments for those in fanancial difficulty could work as an alternative.

However, the local authority made clear it does not have the power to suspend council tax.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council told STV said: “Councils don’t have the legislative power to suspend council tax – however, Glasgow’s corporate debt policy very much prioritises helping those struggling with arrears.

“In the current situation it is more important than ever that those who can pay do, to allow us focus on those facing a change in their circumstances.”

The call comes as the Scottish Government sets out financial measures to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

An £50 million hardship fund, administered by local authorities, was part of the package announced.

Business rates for retail, hospitality and leaisures companies have also been suspended for a year.

Cllr Kerr wrote: “The recent coronavirus outbreak is having a serious impact on the earnings of those employed by our hospitality, retail, tourism and leisure industries and this disruption is set to continue for the foreseeable future and affect all sectors of the economy.

“In such a circumstance, many of our constituents will be worried about how they are going to pay the bills each month and the most substantial bill, other than rent and mortgage payments, will be council tax.

“I believe it would be worthwhile at this time to explore what scope there would be to provide some relief to council tax payers and whether it would be possible to implement a moratorium on the payment of council tax in order to further support the people of Glasgow at this challenging time.

“If not a blanket approach then perhaps support through delayed payments could be targeted at those most acutely affected by loss of earnings.”

Responding to Kerr's call, Green councillor Allan Young called for Holyrood and Westminster emergency legislation to “guarantee a basic income for all those affected as well as ensuring support with council tax and rent payments for those who need it”.