SNP flip-flops as it abandons blanket rent cap within manifesto

First Minister John Swinney unveiled the party's manifesto yesterday without a commitment to introduce national rent controls.

John Swinney, Leader SNPThe SNP has left blanket rent controls out of its General Election manifesto despite claiming a national rent cap helped tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

First Minister John Swinney (main picture), who leads the SNP, unveiled the manifesto with a promise to reintroduce a simplified Help to Buy ISA scheme for first time buyers.

His two predecessors Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon had supported a rent cap that was introduced under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022.

Rent cap

It meant that rents for private tenancies could only increase by 3%, with Holyrood later agreeing a six-month extension until the end of March this year.

Instead of a universal rent cap, the SNP is planning to give Scottish ministers the power to introduce ‘rent control areas’.

The Housing (Scotland) Bill would also require local authorities to assess rent conditions in their area at least once every five years.

Nathan Emerson, Chief Executive, Propertymark
Extreme focus

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, says: “There must be an extreme focus on reversing Scotland’s current housing emergency, which was, in part, triggered by rent controls and tax hikes on the private rental sector.”

Timothy Douglas - Propertymark - image
Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Propertymark

And Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, says the proposals in the bill will cause confusion.

“The Bill does very little to increase the supply of private rented homes, and only offers rent control as the solution for affordability.

“Rent levels are high because there are too many people who have to rent, and not enough homes available,” he says.

Read the manifesto here

One Comment

  1. The SNP ‘abandons’ rent controls. Just as Labour threatens to bring them in, in England after July 4th. You couldn’t make it up. Rent controls have never worked.
    Apply basic economics, increase supply price falls. Decrease demand price falls. Its called price elasticity. Why do our political class not get basic economics?
    If you have Net migration running at 700,000+ a year and you are building 150,000-200,000 new properties a year what do they think will happen to the cost of housing?
    Any rocket scientists out there?
    God help us.

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