By Paul Cassidy
Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond has accused the SNP of responsibility for the deepening inequality in housing.
This has come about, she maintains, by them scrapping the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme without providing an alternative and cutting the More Homes budget – representing a double blow for those seeking affordable homes in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute.
Last week the Scottish Government announced its intention to scrap the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, claiming it is no longer financially viable.
SNP Finance Secretary Katie Forbes and Labour interim leader Jackie Baillie.
In the Budget Statement, Government Finance Secretary Katie Forbes announced a cut of almost £268m to the More Homes budget.
With the pandemic deepening income inequality, the cuts to the More Homes budget and the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme risk deepening housing inequality and freezing a generation of young people out of the housing market, the Dumbarton MSP said.
She added: “The SNP’s cuts risk deepening inequality in our already unequal housing market and freezing an entire generation of young people out.
“We are in the midst of a housing crisis in Scotland and yet the SNP responds with more cuts and by completely scrapping help for first-time buyers without offering any replacement.
“Scottish Labour would replace the existing Help to Buy scheme with genuinely affordable new housing that will help those on low incomes into ownership.
“It’s all too clear that the SNP’s cuts will prevent thousands from getting their foot on the property ladder and will deny many a warm, affordable home.
“It’s time for the SNP to rethink their foolish and damaging cuts, and do right by younger people and first-time buyers in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute.”