Cost of Living Crisis

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 September 2022.

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Photo of Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar Labour

2. The cost of living crisis is a national emergency. Therefore, I welcome that we have finally seen action from the United Kingdom Government, but I do not believe that it goes far enough. Let us be clear: this is not a freeze. Energy prices will still be going up for households across the country, there is not enough support for businesses and charities, and there is no meaningful windfall tax, which means that households and businesses—not companies that are making record profits—will pay in the long term.

Moving to the action that the Scottish Government can take, I welcome the commitment to a rent freeze and a winter eviction ban. That is long overdue, but the Government needs to go further, so I ask the First Minister the following questions. When will the legislation be brought to Parliament? Given that the majority of social rents will rise on 1 April, will she extend the freeze to cover that period? Will she commit to a review towards the end of the freeze period, with an option to extend if necessary? Finally, to avoid a sharp hike when the freeze is lifted, will she commit to putting in place a rent regulator in order to cap any future rises?