Crivvens! Scotland’s Dropping a Rent Freeze! Should Australia Follow Suit?

There’s no getting around it: Australia’s rental market is hot wet garbage. This can be demonstrated by the fact that property prices are going down, but rental prices are buckwild high. In Domain’s June 2022 Rental Report, they stated that the only capital city that didn’t experience increased rental prices was Darwin. 

Moreover, we’re in a cost of living crisis where watermelons can be $40.00 a pop, petrol prices are about to rise, and some vulnerable individuals don’t know how they are going to get their next meal. Basically, budgeting for most folks at the moment is a terrifying endeavour. 

Smash cut to the country of Scotland, where they’re creating a transformative national program. According to the BBC, this joint wants to prevent folks from getting evicted this winter. They’re also planning on freezing rental increases until early next year.

“This Programme for Government is published in the context of the most severe cost crisis in many of our lifetimes,” explained Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. “It is a crisis pushing millions into poverty and poses a genuine danger, not just to livelihoods, but to lives.”

“The Scottish Government is already committed to a range of measures, worth almost £3 billion this year, that will help with rising costs,” she additionally noted. “But the magnitude of what is being experienced by people and businesses means that mitigation is nowhere near sufficient. What is needed now is action on a scale similar to the initial Covid response.”

Related: Is Australia Really in a Rental Crisis?

Related: Which City Is the Best Place to Rent In?

Should Australia Also Freeze Everyone’s Rent?

The federal Greens have already proposed a similar scheme to what Scotland has implemented. As per the ABC in late August, this political party stated Australia needs a national rent freeze of its own. 

“It’s completely unsustainable to have a situation where someone’s rent can go up by as much as the landlord or real estate agent wants,” declared Greens Spokesperson for Housing and Homelessness, Max Chandler-Mather. He also went, “We’re not calling for rents to be cut or reduced. We’re just saying there needs to be a bit of a pause.”

It’s worth noting that Leo Patterson Ross, the CEO of the NSW Tenants Union, likes this concept in theory. He said, “We think this is a really interesting idea, it does need to be worked through because it’s not as simple as the federal government declaring it but we certainly think that rents are currently unaffordable.” 

However, during a government press conference, our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said that such a scheme might not be possible to pull off in Australia. He expressed, “It’s not clear to me, short of nationalising property, how that could be achieved.”

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