Scotland announces a rent freeze and a ban on evictions in response to cost-of-living increases

Americans everywhere are feeling the effects of the recent cost-of-living increase, but we are not alone. According to a Washington Post report, global inflation is expected to reach 6.7% this year, with countries all over the world feeling the pinch.

While Americans are quick to blame our own leaders for the rise in the cost of living, the issues that have led to the rise in the cost of living are global in nature. Multiple events have contributed to global inflation, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a slowing Chinese economy, and unpredictable weather events caused by climate change.

Concerns about inflation, according to the Washington Post, can lead to inflation as people begin to expect and demand higher wages and food prices. Although the United States passed the Inflation Reduction Act, economists believe that the reduction in inflation “will be statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

In Scotland, the average household’s energy bill is expected to rise by 80%, from £1,971 ($2268) to £3,549 ($4084). Energy costs have also increased dramatically for businesses. Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has stated that the government will soon announce a program to offset the costs.

In addition, Scotland has experienced 10.1% inflation over the last year.

Sturgeon refers to the sharp rise in living costs as a “humanitarian emergency,” and the Scottish government is treating it as such. To assist its citizens in weathering the crisis, the Scottish government intends to freeze all rent increases and the cost of riding ScotRail, the country’s publicly owned railway.

It will also put an end to all evictions.

“Firstly, it will aim to give people security about the roof over their head this winter through a moratorium on evictions,” she said, according to Sky News. “Secondly, the legislation will include measures to deliver a rent freeze.”

According to TimeOut, Sturgeon stated, “We will take immediate action to protect tenants in the private and social renting sectors,” Sturgeon said according to TimeOut. “The Scottish government does not have the power to stop your energy bills soaring, but we can and will take action to make sure that your rent does not rise.”

The tenants’ union in Scotland, Living Rent, called the package a “huge win that would not have been possible without years of organizing by members.”

To assist families, Scotland will expand its free school meal programs and increase the Scottish Child Payment from £20 to £25 per week for each child. To combat child poverty, Scotland will implement a weekly payment to eligible families with children in 2021.

The Scottish people are not to blame for the global pandemic or the war in Ukraine, but they are feeling the consequences. Instead of dithering, the Scottish government took decisive action to combat rising prices and protect its most vulnerable citizens.

The Scottish people are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and their leaders have decided to treat it as such rather than telling them, “You’re on your own.” This is how effective government appears.