HUMZA Yousaf tore into a Tory MSP for not dealing with "reality" after she claimed the Scottish Government's rent cap had been "nothing short of a disaster".

In October 2022, emergency legislation was passed to freeze private rents in Scotland. 

It was then amended to allow a 3% rent increase in a 12-month period, with landlords able to apply for a 6% increase where they could prove that it was needed.

That legislation is set to expire in April after a number of extensions, with Tenants Rights’ Minister Patrick Harvie having announced plans to temporarily change the rent adjudication process until April 1, 2025.

Tory MSP Pam Gosal attacked the Scottish Government at First Minister's Questions saying the rent cap had "exacerbated" the housing emergency.

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She said: "The SNP-Green rent cap has not only failed to tackle the housing emergency but has exacerbated it.

"Rents in Scotland have increased by more than 14% despite the rent cap and Scotland is the only part of the UK where the numbers of properties sold by landlords have gone up.

"It has caused enormous price hikes when people do move and has reduced the availability of housing by driving landlords out of the market."

She added it had been "nothing short of a disaster" and asked him if he would "scrap the cap".

But the First Minister hit back and said: "My goodness, I think that is the most Conservative contribution I have ever heard in this chamber."

Mocking Gosal's speech, Yousaf added: "How dare the [Scottish] Government interfere in the middle of a UK Government cost of living crisis to help tenants because of the economic damage they they’ve [the UK Government] caused?

"How dare we have the temerity to protect renters because of the economic vandalism of Pam Gosal’s party?

"Her contributuion doesn’t bear the reality. The latest Scottish landlord register data shows the number of registered properties for rent in Scotland between August 2022 and November 2023 has actually increased.

"I will never make an apology for making sure we are on the right side of this argument."