Cost of Living Crisis

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

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

First, the emergency legislation will be introduced very soon. We have not yet determined the date for that, but we need to introduce it soon, because Parliament needs to act at pace to pass it. We want that legislation to be passed within three months so that the freeze that I announced is effective from that date. That work will happen at pace, and I encourage all members to engage constructively with the detail of it. As all members will be aware, it is important that we get legislation right to ensure that, if there are any legal challenges to it, it has the best possible chance of withstanding those.

Secondly, I will commit to an on-going review of the emergency legislation. We have said very clearly that we intend the two proposals that I announced on Tuesday—the rent freeze and the moratorium on evictions—to be in place until at least the end of March. We will review that regularly, and we will, of course, keep open the option of extending the period further, depending on the wider situation.

Lastly, as I said on Tuesday, the emergency measures are, by definition, temporary. How temporary they prove to be will depend on the reviews that I have just spoken about, but they are intended to pave the way for longer-term reforms that bring greater affordability to the rented sector, particularly the private rented sector, and that give greater protections to tenants. The wider issues that Anas Sarwar has raised today will be fully taken into account in that longer-term work.