The Scottish Government has announced a combined rent freeze and moratorium on evictions to help people through the cost-of-living crisis. Housing Industry Leaders explores how the rent freeze and eviction ban will support tenants.
As the centrepiece of the 2022-23 Programme for Government (PfG), the rent freeze has been announced to be until at least 31 March 2023.
In addition to the rent freeze, Scotland will see a moratorium on evictions, a new tenants’ rights campaign and a one-stop-shop website being introduced. The website will provide people with information on the range of benefits and support available to support them through the current cost-of-living crisis.
Scottish Child Payment Will Increase From November
Children are being focused on as at the end of March, £3 billion will be allocated for a range of support that will help mitigate the impact of the cost crisis on households and Scottish Child Payment will increase to £25 per week per eligible child from 14 November when it also opens to all under 16s. Also, the programme includes the roll out of free school meals across all primary school age groups.
To support households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, the Fuel Insecurity Fund will be doubled to £20 million to help households at risk of self-disconnection or self-rationing of energy, and the Warmer Homes Fuel Poverty Programme will be widened.
The Cost-of-living Crisis Means It Is Essential To See Help Be Provided Now
For businesses, in addition to an existing package of financial aid worth over £800 million, the Scottish Government have revealed six ‘tech scalers’ will be opened, two job-boosting Greenports progressed and the National Strategy for Economic Transformation focusing on economy-supporting measures will be seen continued.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This Programme for Government is published in the context of the most severe cost crisis in many of our lifetimes. It is a crisis pushing millions into poverty and poses a genuine danger, not just to livelihoods, but to lives.
“The Scottish Government is already committed to a range of measures, worth almost £3 billion this year, that will help with rising costs. But the magnitude of what is being experienced by people and businesses means that mitigation is nowhere near sufficient. What is needed now is action on a scale similar to the initial Covid response.
“Regrettably, the powers to act in the manner and on the scale needed do not lie with this Parliament. In my view, they should lie here. If they did, we could have acted already. But they don’t. These powers are reserved to Westminster.”
The cost crisis means this Programme for Government is more focussed than ever before – deliberately so – with priority actions to provide help now.
She continued: “To that end, we will provide more help for people who may be at risk of self-rationing or even self-disconnection from their energy supply and we will double the Fuel Insecurity Fund to £20 million this year.
“We will also propose emergency legislation to put in place a rent freeze until at least March and a moratorium on evictions.
“Given the powers to act in the manner and on the scale needed do not lie with this Parliament, this Programme for Government also provides for a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill.”
Independence would give us – like it does other independent countries – the levers we desperately need to respond to a crisis such as this. That’s the prize we surely must grasp.
In total, the PfG sets out 18 new bills including legislation on an independence referendum and major reforms in the justice system.