Housing policy is a big deal in the run-up to May’s Scottish Parliamentary Election.
All political parties have pledged to increase the housing supply in Scotland, as well as introduce Right-To-Buy — a government subsidy which allows tenants to buy council homes they have lived in.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) currently have the most seats in Scotland’s Parliament, with 69 — 44% of the available seats.
Labour and the Conservatives have 38 and 15 seats respectively.
Despite the general agreement that more homes are needed, there are some notable differences in each Party’s housing policy.
Estate agent Knight Frank has outlined the main ones, in a handy chart.
- Number of new homes — The Conservatives pledged to build 100,000 news homes where the SNP have promised 50,000, while Labour said they would build 25,000.
- Help To Buy — The SNP said they would invest £80 million ($114 million) in an Open Market Shared Equity scheme to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. Labour promised up to £3,000 in subsidies for “help to buy” Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). The Conservatives want to restore funding levels to 2015/16 levels, with with an additional £50 million a year.
- Planning Laws — All parties are vague on this, but the Conservatives said they would “loosen” planning permission rules on brownfield sites, while SNP said they wanted to review and reform the planning permission system. Labour advocated a “democratic” approach where Local Authorities could invest in infrastructure.
- Rent caps — The SNP said Local Authorities would be able to apply to ministers to set a cap on rent increases, which Labour agrees with, but the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are against any such caps.
- Council Tax — Labour wanted to update the system to reflect property values rather than just area zones, while the SNP wanted “those at the top to pay more.” The Conservatives want to maintain the current system with a degree of reform.
Here is the full chart with the main parties’ housing policies in Scotland:
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