YCL: SNP & Tories defeat protection for tenants & collective bargaining for carers

The Executive Committee of the Young Communist League has released the following statement condemning the defeat of progressive amendments to the Scotland’s Second Coronavirus Bill by the SNP & the Tories.

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Government once again showed their true colours yesterday and today (20 May 2020), voting with Tory support, to defeat progressive amendments to Scotland’s new Coronavirus Bill.

Various amendments to the Bill had been proposed by Scottish Labour and the Greens to help Scottish tenants during the crisis, including:

  • A two year rent freeze;
  • Measures to ensure tenants could not be evicted as a result of rent arrears accrued during the pandemic; and,
  • A support fund for tenants who are unable to pay their rent during the pandemic due to reduced income.

This vote comes at the same time as the SNP and Tories voted together to secure financial support for private landlords and AirBnB owners.

The SNP and Tories also united to vote down a proposal for trade union collective bargaining for workers in the private care sector to secure improved pay and conditions. This comes as Scottish workers in the care sector are at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus.

This is not the first time the SNP have teamed up with Tories to pass anti-worker legislation and austerity budgets. Although the Greens proposed progressive amendments to the Coronavirus Bill yesterday and today, it should not be forgotten that the SNP’s 2020/21 budget, which included sweeping cuts, was only passed with the support of the Greens.

The fact that today’s watered down amendments from Labour and the Greens still failed to pass shows the extent of the SNPs unwillingness to listen on this crucial issue. Not only this, it highlights how far the New-Labouresque party are willing to go to protect the landlord class in Scotland. This now means that council and housing association tenants will be completely unprotected from rent hikes after the pandemic.

The SNP have now been in power for 13 years and have made large gains at Westminster and in Scotland’s local authorities. Regardless of your stance on independence, it is clear that for too long the SNP have been allowed to make sweeping cuts across Scotland and have been happy to pass on Tory cuts from Westminster without a fight.

Scotland’s Communists have been calling for bold protections to be taken to protect Scottish workers during this pandemic including a ban on all evictions and redundancies and more money to support our communities. We need investment in jobs, housing and education. We need an end to austerity.

Working people have to come together during this crisis to demand effective action from the Scottish Government and ensure there can be no return to “normal” afterward. “Normal” wasn’t working for working people.

Executive Committee
Young Communist League

20 May 2020
Edinburgh, Scotland