The Daily Telegraph

Sturgeon announces cap on rent and fares


NICOLA STURGEON has announced an immediate freeze on rents and train fares in Scotland in a support package to tackle the “humanitari­an crisis” caused by the cost of living crisis.

The First Minister published her programme for government for the coming year, with the centrepiec­e an immediate rent freeze that applied to both public and private properties.

In a statement to Holyrood, she also unveiled plans to freeze fares charged by the nationalis­ed Scotrail franchise and to increase a benefit for the poorest families with children to £25 per week.

The measures come on top of Liz Truss’s expected energy bills freeze, which would also apply to Scotland.

However, Ms Sturgeon signalled she would not replicate any income tax cuts announced by Ms Truss, attacking them as “irresponsi­ble and regressive”.

Ms Sturgeon announced that emergency legislatio­n would be tabled at Holyrood to protect tenants in private and socially rented homes. This will include a moratorium on evictions during winter as well as a rent freeze, to run at least to the end of March next year.

In response, the Scottish Associatio­n of Landlords said it had been “inundated” with members withdrawin­g vacant properties following Ms Sturgeon’s rent freeze announceme­nt, exacerbati­ng the housing shortage.

John Blackwood, its chief executive, said: “Who on earth is going to let a property in the knowledge that they will be unable to meet their own financial and maintenanc­e obligation­s if their tenants don’t pay the rent?

“Instead of helping tenants pay their bills, the Scottish Government has chosen to penalise people who have provided the homes politician­s have failed to provide for decades.”

Ms Sturgeon was also accused of failing to deliver sufficient help for homeowners or workers not on benefits.

She insisted that she could not provide more support because of a “lack of money” and argued the surge in inflation meant that the new prime minister must give her more funding.

But her programme also included plans for an independen­ce referendum Bill if she wins next month’s Supreme Court battle.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, said the package fell “woefully short” of what was required.

He told MSPS: “When Scottish people are struggling with their bills, instead of the right level of help, they’ll get another unwanted bill from the SNP government – an indyref2 Bill.”

 ?? ?? Nicola Sturgeon said the rent freeze would apply to both public and private properties
Nicola Sturgeon said the rent freeze would apply to both public and private properties

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom