Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has pressed the Scottish Government Minister for Housing and Welfare Margaret Burgess on why the Government are not supporting Scottish Labour’s proposals to cap rents in the private sector. This follows the news that the Governments own Expert Welfare Group have recommended that rent increases should be capped in line with inflation.
Scottish Labour is proposing to reform the private rental sector in Scotland by limiting rent reviews to once a year and capping rent increases. The move will stop unscrupulous landlords ripping off tenants, whilst offering clarity and security in the sector. The SNP joined with the Tories to vote against these proposals at Stage 2 of the Housing (Scotland) Bill.
Ms McTaggart said “The case for capping rents is clear and compelling, so much so that even the Governments own Expert Welfare Group has recognised this. The private rented sector now stands at over 300,000 households in Scotland; nearly half of these households are families with children. More worryingly, over 100,000 of private rented households in Scotland live in poverty.
Poverty is the biggest problem Scotland faces and requires a complex, multifaceted approach. We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis so if we see opportunities to ease living costs for people and offer them security in the private rented sector we should look to do so.
Margaret Burgess and the SNP voted to reject Scottish Labours ammendments at Stage 2 and in doing so failed to protect those renting in the private sector. They must now decide whose side they are on.”
You can read Anne McTaggart’s questions here.
Watch the Culture and External Affairs Portfolio Questions from June 18th 2014 below. Anne
McTaggart’s questions begin at 26.07.