Scotland introduces rent freeze to tackle soaring costs

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. roof over (one’s) head / ruf ˈoʊ vər hɛd / (idiom) – a place to live in

    My husband and I are grateful to have a roof over our heads.

  2. moratorium / ˌmɔr əˈtɔr i əm / (n.) – an official and temporary stopping of an activity for an agreed period of time

    The neighboring countries signed a moratorium on nuclear testing.

  3. eviction / ɪˈvɪk ʃən / (n.) – the act of forcing someone to leave a place, especially his/her home

    Roland is facing eviction from the apartment after not paying rent for three months.

  4. spiral / ˈspaɪ rəl / (v.) – to greatly increase or decrease in a usually fast and uncontrollable way

    The stock market spiraled because of the pandemic.

  5. devolved / dɪˈvɒlvd / (adj.) – having power or responsibility passed to a person or group that has less authority

    Our city has devolved powers, so our city government has the authority to pass our own laws.


Read the text below.

Scotland’s leader said 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 until at least March 2023. Rail fares in Scotland will also not rise during the same period, Sturgeon said.

Her statement coincided with the appointment of Liz Truss as the U.K.’s new prime minister. Truss took office 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.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The emergency law is meant to give people security about the roof over their heads. What do you think of this law (ex. very helpful, not enough)? Why? Discuss.
  • Aside from the rent freeze, rail fares in Scotland will also not rise until at least March 2023. In your opinion, what other products and services should be included in the price freeze? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Although the Scottish Government doesn’t have the power to stop soaring energy bills, Sturgeon said it will ensure that rent does not rise. Based on the article, what do you think of Sturgeon as a leader? Discuss.
  • Under the U.K.’s devolved government, Scotland makes some of its own laws. What do you think are the pros of devolving powers to local leaders to create laws? Discuss.