Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed that her government is to introduce a national rent freeze and bank on evictions as part of her government'�s 'emergency legislation' to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, both of which will last until at least the end of March next year.
The controversial measures. which are part of a package of emergency policies to help Scotland'�s population deal with higher bills and living costs, follows a strong campaign by Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba.
She says: 'We have the most right-wing Tory government at Westminster since the Thatcher years, with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss openly stating that she supports 'Thatcherite' 1980s style tax cuts for the wealthiest.
"Against this backdrop, it's welcome that the First Minister appears to be planning to introduce a rent freeze.'�
Sturgeon says: 'This Programme for Government is published in the context of the most severe cost crisis in many of our lifetimes. It is a crisis pushing millions into poverty and poses a genuine danger, not just to livelihoods, but to lives.
Leading Scottish letting agent David Alexander (pictured) of DJ Alexander, has not welcomed the announcement.
'This tells you all you need to know about the Scottish Governments'� commitment to consultation and fairness.
'No government would tell supermarkets, pubs, or clothing manufacturers to freeze the cost of their goods, but it seems that Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues believe the private rented sector is fair game,'� he says.
'One parliamentary source is quoted in the media as saying if the cost of a freeze was met by landlords the policy would cost the Government nothing.
'But the result of this policy will be a shrinking of the private rented sector at a time when demand is at its highest.
'This has come at a time when local councils are seeking help from the private rented sector in housing the homeless as they have no capacity within social housing.
'This move marks a new low in the Scottish governments'� relations with the private rented sector and, given that this has been done without consultation, is a sign of desperation at a time when we need considered thought and action.'�