Cost of Living Bill: economic background

Summarises recent economic trends which informed the development of the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Bill, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 3 October 2022.


1 Government announces Energy Price Guarantee for families and businesses while urgently taking action to reform broken energy market - GOV.UK (

2 It should be noted that this modelling is based on the 2019 Scottish House Condition Survey data, since this is that latest available dataset which has all the variables required for fuel poverty modelling. The modelling uprates energy prices by the percentage increase in the price cap for each time period, and for the October 2022 estimate allocates the mitigation payments to households in the dataset based on eligibility for the different benefits. Every household benefits from the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme payment. The National Statistics on fuel poverty rates for 2022, which will be published in late 2023/early 2024, could differ from these depending on changes other than fuel prices and benefit eligibility and also because they will use average energy prices across the year.

3 Pullinger, M.; Few, J.; McKenna, E.; Elam, S.; Webborn, E.; Oreszczyn, T. (2022): Smart Energy Research Lab: Energy use in GB domestic buildings 2021 (volume 1) - Data Tables (in Excel). University College London. Dataset.

4 Figure 12 on P22 of Resolution Foundation (2022), A blank cheque.

5 Figure 3.2 on P39 of Scottish Fiscal Commission (2022), Scotland’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts – May 2022.

6 Citylets Quarterly Reports

7 Rightmove Rental Price Tracker

8 59% of tenants reported not having experienced an increase, and this increases to 63% if those not answering this question are excluded.

9 In 2019, 35% of survey respondents living in the private rented sector had been at their current address for less than one year (Table 3.8 of Scottish House Condition Survey 2019 annual report), and in 2020 the corresponding figure was 31% (Table 1_26 of Scottish Household Survey 2020 Results Housing Tables). Note that the results in 2020 could have been affected by the change in survey methodology due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

10 Around 17% reported never increasing rents and around 32% reported increasing rents on when the tenancy changes. See Section 3.3 of RentBetter (2020), Wave 1 Landlord and Letting Agent Survey Findings.

11 For example, 30% of respondents in Edinburgh reported increasing rents annual, compared with 15% of all survey respondents.

12 If landlords are happy with their current tenant, they may be concerned that a rent increase might increase the probability that the tenant will move, with the associated void costs to the landlords and the possibility that the new tenant may not be as satisfactory in terms of rent payments and other aspects.

13 The latest available data covers the period 2017 to 2020 and is sourced from Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland Tables

14 Financial vulnerability is defined as households with savings which would cover less than one month of income at the poverty line. Data covers the period 2018 to 2020 and is sourced from Scottish Government Statistical publication on Wealth in Scotland 2006-2020

15 HW-in-PRS-Part-2-final.pdf ( ; Health and wellbeing in the private rented sector Part 1 | Literature review : CaCHE ( ; McKee-etal-HousingStudies-2020.pdf ( ; cache03192.pdf (

16 Housing and health: new evidence using biomarker data | Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health (

17 McKee-etal-HousingStudies-2020.pdf (

18 poverty-evictions-and-forced-moves-2018-jrf.pdf ( p4

19 NB this work is now published and available at Living in Scotland’s private rented sector: A bespoke survey of renter’s experiences : CaCHE (



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