Letter to editors from Graeme Brown - response to Scottish budget
10 February 2011
As the dust settles following the last minute horse-trading that ensured the passage of the Scottish budget, it is clear the biggest losers will be the 160,000 households stuck on housing waiting lists in Scotland.
MSPs voted to cut the overall money available for housing by a whopping 34 per cent – a bigger cut than any other area of Government spending.
To add insult to injury, John Swinney was able to find an extra £16 million down the back of the sofa for shared equity and ‘mid-market’ rent properties, reportedly to secure the backing of the Conservatives. As mid-market rents are on average more than 60% higher than social rent, these properties won’t help those in most acute housing need.
It has become clear that housing simply doesn’t feature as a political issue in the way it should. The biggest consultation on the future of Scottish housing was published on the day of the UK budget. It was debated in Parliament on the day the Pope was in Scotland whilst many MSPs enjoyed a glass on the lawns of Holyrood Palace. It has resulted in a 34% cut to funds.
These are not firm foundations on which to build a better future.
Director, Shelter Scotland
6 South Charlotte Street
Edinburgh EH2 4AW