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

I welcome that response from the First Minister. We will engage proactively with the legislation, and the sooner we can do that, taking into account the legal complexities, the better. We will continue to push for the freeze to cover 1 April, because that will give people certainty. We welcome the agreement to a review, with an option to extend, and I again push the First Minister on creating a rent regulator so that we can make sure that there are not excessive increases when the freeze is finally lifted.

However, rents are not the only costs that are rising. We have been calling for a rent freeze since June, but we have also been calling for a reduction in rail fares since April. In the summer, the Scottish National Party published a document outlining what actions European countries were taking in the face of the cost of living crisis. That document included examples from Germany, Spain and Ireland, which have all cut rail fares. ScotRail is now in public ownership. The decision on rail fares is for this Government, so will the First Minister commit to Labour’s plan to halve rail fares, which could save commuters up to £130 a month?