Tue 19 May, 2020

The First Minister said she wanted to build a fairer and more equal Scotland from this crisis, yet her party seem keen to make it less fair and less equal Andy Wightman

SNP MSPs have teamed up with Conservatives to defeat Andy Wightman’s proposals to provide stability for tenants during the coronavirus crisis.

At COVID committee in the Scottish Parliament, Andy Wightman’s proposed amendments to emergency laws were defeated by a coalition of SNP and Tory MSPs.

The vote comes after the two parties secured a deal to provide financial support for landlords.

Mr Wightman’s proposals included a two-year rent freeze and measures to ensure no tenant can be evicted at any time as a result of rent arrears accrued during this time of national crisis.

Responding, Andy Wightman said: “Housing is a human right, and access to good housing is a public health issue, that’s why it is deeply disappointing to see SNP MSPs once again team up with the Tories to block clear progress on social justice. A rent freeze and a ban on evictions based on arrears accumulated as a result of this crisis would have provided much-needed security for people who are financially most at risk.

“Scottish Ministers made no attempt to contact me to discuss my amendments despite being advised of them a week ago. This stands in contrast to the last piece of emergency legislation, when the SNP and the Conservatives stitched up a deal to help out landlords. It is very disappointing that they couldn’t bring themselves to afford a similar benefit for private tenants.

"The First Minister said she wanted to build a fairer and more equal Scotland from this crisis, yet her party seem keen to make it less fair and less equal.”

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