Covid-19 (Next Steps)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th July 2020.

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The First Minister:

That is an important issue. I am acutely aware of it in general across Scotland and, given the nature of my constituency, I know how important it is.

During the past few years, we have taken a number of measures to try to better protect those in the private rented sector. We will continue to look at what more we can do. During this crisis, we have also increased the Scottish welfare fund and other sources of support for people who have financial difficulties, which is also important.

The Local Government and Communities Committee took a decision and I cannot interfere with that decision. However, I will consider any reasonable suggestion that is made and will ask the housing minister to have a conversation with Pauline McNeill about whether anything is possible.

I have to be frank and say that parliamentary time between now and the dissolution of Parliament is very limited, and there are particular pieces of legislation—not least the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law—that we want to prioritise before the end of the session. However, we will look at what is possible and, if something is possible, we will certainly give it serious consideration.