The green party in Scotland has launched an all-out war against landlords and the private rented sector during its online-only national conference over the weekend.
The Scots arm of the Green Party in the UK has six MSPs, and its housing spokesperson Andy Wightman, who is MSP for Lothian, gave a tub-thumping speech to the party’s supporters yesterday, calling for radical measures on housing.
Blaming Scotland’s poverty problems squarely on high rents and landlords’ ability to evict via ‘no fault’ notices, Wightman said it was time for the party to offer a ‘new deal for housing’ to voters.
This is to include rent controls, giving tenants the right to request rent reductions if they are struggling financially, and preventing landlords from evicting tenants when they want to sell their property.
Wightman also heavily criticised the Scottish National Party (SNP) for its approach to the private rental sector during the Covid pandemic.
This includes: “Standing up for landlords when the pandemic hit us whilst joining with the Tories to block my proposals for better protection for tenants,” he said.
“In no other country in Europe would a Private Sector Resilience group set up to safeguard tenants during the coronavirus pandemic have no representatives of tenants on it.
“The odds are always stacked in favour of the wealthy, whether they be the big land owners, landlords, or corporates. And As a result, the rich get richer and the poor poorer.
“This is not an accident. It’s a policy choice. Time and time again we’ve seen the SNP choose to side with powerful vested interests rather than the public interest.”