Nicola Sturgeon has revealed plans for a rent freeze and a ban on winter evictions, as part of emergency legislation in response to the cost of living crisis.

With financial pressures on households named a “humanitarian emergency”, the legislation has been announced to safeguard tenants in private and socially rented homes.

Sturgeon highlighted the rising cost of living as a crisis requiring action comparable with the measures put in place during the first years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The temporary measures will be supported by the future introduction of a new housing bill, A New Deal for Tenants, which will increase affordability and reinforce tenants’ rights.

She underlined that the cost of any financial assistance now “must not simply fall on consumers in the longer term”.

An increase in the Scottish child payment was also announced from £20 to £25 weekly for every eligible child from November.

Additional pledges included:

  • Freezing ScotRail charges until at least March 2023
  • Expanding free school meals to primary 6 and 7 pupils
  • A £25 million Clyde mission decarbonisation fund
  • A criminal justice bill to eradicate the not proven verdict and offer legal anonymity to victims of sexual offences.

Living Rent, the Scottish tenants’ union, agreed with the freeze but added:

“We also know that rents are already too high and have increased by over 60 per cent in Scottish cities in the last 10 years. This rent freeze will need to stay in place until the Scottish Government brings in proper rent controls that push rents down.”

As well as this, Prime Minister Liz Truss is rumoured to announce a freeze to the current energy price cap. This is something which Sturgeon has previously proposed, and will further help citizens of Scotland.

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