MSPs Pauline McNeill and Jackie Baillie – fighting to keep rents down.
By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie has called on the SNP-Green government to deliver for renters, as rent in Scotland rises at a record rate.
New figures issued by the Office of National Statistics on the eve of the council elections show that private rental prices in Scotland shot up by 2.6 percent in a single year – the biggest annual increase since records began.
This sharp rise will pile pressure on households already struggling with a cost of living crisis, including those in Dumbarton, Alexandria, Balloch, Helensburgh and Lomond, driven by soaring bills and high inflation.
Last term in parliament, Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill lodged a Bill to regulate private rent – but the SNP and the Tories joined together to stop it from progressing.
The Scottish Government have since u-turned on this, committing to rent controls in their draft strategy for tenants – but it still doesn’t aim to introduce them until the end of 2025.
Scottish Labour pressed the SNP to make this a priority and get these controls in place in the first half of the term.
Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie said: “These stark rises will pile pressure on households already struggling with a cost of living crisis. Bills are soaring, the cost of food is going up and now rent is rising at record rates.
“After 15 years in power the SNP have no-one to blame but themselves for the dire state of Scotland’s housing market.
“Scottish Labour put forward plans for rent controls years ago but the SNP blocked them – and now we are seeing the consequences of that shameful decision.
“They are still moving far too slowly. The SNP-Green government cannot drag their heels on rent controls while people are struggling to pay their bills. People cannot wait – this must be brought in as a priority.”