Scotland introduces rent freeze to tackle soaring costs

LONDON (AP) — Scotland’s leader said Tuesday she will bring in emergency legislation to introduce an immediate rent freeze to protect tenants as part of measures to tackle the U.K.’s cost-of-living crisis.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the emergency law will “give people security about the roof over their head this winter through a moratorium on evictions.” It will also include measures to deliver a rent freeze for tenants in both the private and public rental markets.

“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,” Sturgeon said.

She added that the measure means that rent in Scotland will be frozen from Tuesday until at least March 2023. Rail fares in Scotland will also not rise during the same period, Sturgeon said.

Her statement coincided Tuesday with the appointment of Liz Truss as the U.K.’s new prime minister. Truss took office Tuesday afternoon after winning the governing Conservative Party’s leadership contest.

Truss inherits from her predecessor Boris Johnson a troubled economy and she is under immediate pressure to tackle a deepening crisis largely driven by spiraling gas and electricity bills. Truss has promised to act immediately to help people with soaring costs, but no details have yet been announced.

Under its devolved government, Scotland makes some of its own laws but most fiscal policy matters are decided by the national government in London.

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