0:05 AM, 30th January 2024, About a month ago 2
Despite Scotland facing a housing emergency, First Minister Humza Yousaf spent £6,000 a month of taxpayer’s money on a rented flat in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Tories slammed the eye-watering cost of the three-bed flat, which the SNP leader used while Bute House (the official residence of the First Minister) was undergoing an £825,000 refurbishment.
This year, housing emergencies have been declared in Edinburgh, Argyll and Bute and Glasgow.
The SNP has come under fire for their failed rent control policy which saw rent prices soar.
Miles Briggs, the Scottish Tory MSP, told the Daily Telegraph: “Humza Yousaf was lucky to find somewhere to rent, given the housing emergency declared by Edinburgh City Council – which the SNP’s disastrous rent cap has helped cause.
“But at £6k per month, it certainly didn’t come cheap to the taxpayer.
“At a time when his government is slashing budgets – including on housing – and hiking taxes to fill the black hole the SNP’s financial mismanagement has created, this will stick in the craw of hard-pressed Scots.”
In a bizarre move, Mr Yousaf rented the flat between 2nd June and 31st October despite the fact that the Scottish Parliament was not sitting between July 1st and Sept 3rd, and Oct 7-22.
The SNP leader has a home near Dundee only an hour and a half away by car from the capital.
The Edinburgh flat cost almost £20,000 in rent, in addition to £5,400 for the “property search and advice”. Legal fees and council tax cost almost £4,000, and there was a £420 charge to end the tenancy.
The Scottish government told the Telegraph: “Alternative accommodation arrangements were put in place for the First Minister. A number of properties were reviewed and the one selected was the best fit in terms of cost, security and size.
“The alternative accommodation comprised a three-bedroom flat in central Edinburgh with sufficient living space for the First Minister and their family.”