Scottish Government declare housing emergency

15/05/2024

THE Scottish Government will declare a national housing emergency today, it is being reported.

The announcement will come from the Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville during a Labour-led debate at Holyrood.

Rather than look at rent controls and Scotland’s slow planning system, Ms Somerville is expected to blame UK government austerity and Brexit for the decision, according to the BBC.

But UK ministers said that the Scottish Government receives about 25% more funding from Whitehall than other parts of the UK.

Scottish Labour have also accused the Scottish government of making “brutal” cuts to the housing budget.

Last year Argyll and Bute, City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City councils all declared housing emergencies. Fife Council made the same move in March followed by West Dunbartonshire earlier this month.

By declaring an emergency, the Scottish Government is formally recognising the housing problem and calling for cuts to its capital budget to be reversed.

However, there are no practical effects that automatically happen due to a declaration being made.

Shirley-Anne Somerville said that a “joint approach” will be needed to combat housing problems.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “Decisions at Spring Budget took our direct investment in levelling up Scotland past the £3bn mark, and the Scottish government receives around 25% more funding per person than equivalent UK government spending in other parts of the UK through its record £41bn per year settlement.”

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