The cost of private rented accommodation in Scotland is rising faster than workers' wages.

Figures show that while the average cost of private lets has increased by 16 per cent over the last five years, wages have only gone up by 12 per cent.

The data, from the Scottish Government and official labour market statistics, reveals that the average weekly wage has gone from £396 in 2012 to £442 in 2017, while rent in the private sector has increased by £90 per month.

The Scottish Labour Party said the figures were reflective of a broken housing market exacerbated by austerity.

The party's housing spokeswoman Pauline McNeill said: "Scotland’s housing crisis is seeing private sector rents rising faster than people’s wages, making housing even more expensive and pushing people further into poverty.

"Too many young families are caught in a vicious cycle – a lack of affordable public housing forces people to rent privately and as a result they are paying rip-off rents which stops them saving for a deposit to buy their own home."

She added that the party has started work in a new law to reform the private rented sector, including limiting rent rises with a link to wages to ensure they are affordable.

She said: "Our Mary Barbour law, which I am bringing forward as a Member’s Bill, would give people hope that they can have secure, affordable tenancies."

The Scottish Government said it was already taking action to improve the private rental market, including steps to moderate unreasonable increases better notice periods for tenants.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: "We know from ONS figures that, since 2011, rents across all private rented households in Scotland have risen at less than half the rate as in England.

"But when the private rented sector offers a place to call home for so many people, it must provide good quality homes that meet people’s budgets and we are taking action on that.

"Our new private residential tenancy provides rent stability and predictability for tenants, ensuring more is done to moderate unreasonable increases.

"Importantly, landlords can only increase rents once a year and must give three months’ notice and tenants can refer increases for adjudication without fear of their tenancy being ended.

"In addition, local authorities can apply to have areas designated as ‘rent pressure zones’ – a valuable tool where rents are rising significantly.

"As well as taking action to address costs we are also increasing housing supply, including that for rent. Our recent rental Income Guarantee Scheme will boost the emerging build-to-rent sector, we’ve ended right to buy in Scotland, and reintroduced council housing.

"We are also track to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, with at least 35,000 of those for social rent."