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Scottish Conservatives defend the right to buy

While in England the right to buy for council tenants is being revived, in Scotland it is being ever more resticted. The SNP-run Scottish administration have announced that discounts will be cut and the number of those to whom the right to buy applies will be subject to further restrictions.

The SNP Housing Minister Keith Brown says:

"In the last ten years 92,000 homes were lost through Right-to-Buy in Scotland."

But, of course, those homes have not been lost. At least that is not the perspective of the Scottish families who live in them. Their perspective is of their homes being enhanced through the independence and freedom of home ownership. The pride of being able to pass on an asset to the next generation. That sheer joy of choosing which colour to paint your front door. It is not a problem for Mr Brown to get on the housing ladder with his £84,598 salary. But why deny the same opportunity to others?

At least the SNP are clear in their support for municipal serfdom. Are Scottish Labour for or against this further restriction on the right to buy? They just dither and say the question "misses the point."

But the Scottish Conservatives are clear. Alex Johnstone MSP said:

"Right to buy has been the greatest driver for social change in Scotland in a generation.

"It has had a positive impact on communities across Scotland, where people have been able to take a stake in their neighbourhood.

"The SNP government has been determined to bring an end to right to buy and this is another move allowing it to whither on the vine.

"We cannot allow the Scottish Government to kill this without first setting out how they will achieve the objectives for the next generation to own their own homes.

"We need a much stronger drive to enable home ownership through shared equity and other rent-to-mortgage schemes.

"Right to buy must remain one of the tools to help people realise their home ownership aspirations.

"For the SNP to say right to buy haemorrhaged social housing is absurd.

"Last year their own figures showed they only sold 1,474 local authority dwellings – that is a shockingly low number."

The new Labour/Conservative coalition on East Lothian Council is backing the right to buy.


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