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Lib Dems would allow councils to double tax on second homes

The Liberal Democrats is to announce plans to give local authorities power to double council tax on second homes.

The announcement comes as part of a “Countryside Charter” unveiled today in Cornwall by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

The Lib Dems hope that by allowing councils to charge up to 200 per cent council tax, it can curb high rates of second homes, and allow local people better access to the property market.

The pledge comes after the party promised to build 300,000 new homes across the country, as well as loans to help renters and a new “Rent to Own” scheme.

Speaking today, Clegg will say: “Rural areas play a large part in Britain’s economy with the rural economy worth £210bn. The Liberal Democrats want to unlock this potential so rural areas and the rest of the UK can thrive.

“In order to prosper, rural areas need good local services, appropriate infrastructure and more housing.

“Only the Liberal Democrats will create a stronger economy and fairer society where everyone and every part of the UK can reach its full potential.”

Clegg announced the plans in the marginal Lib Dem constituency of St Ives, held by Andrew George with a majority of 3.7 per cent in 2010.


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. A real vote winner that’ll be.

  2. A sensible approach to help level out access to decent property for those on lesser incomes. Actually using taxation as a practical leveling mechanism is a step forward and what government should be about. I can confirm it works well as living in Scotland my local council implemented this years ago, after 12 months of a property being empty council tax rises to 200%, nothing for first six months if empty.
    Net effect is less properties left indefinitely as “for sale”, more reasonable rents to get property let quickly, less burden on housing association and council stock and increased tax revenue from those that can afford it and wish to retain the second home as a holiday place. Most second home “bolt holes” are typically lower tax rates anyway and I would like to see this rolled out commercially to ensure no business rate relief for properties which are sitting empty on the high street waiting for rip off rents or silly sales prices.
    Might not be a game changer but it is sensible policy making rather than negative headline grabbing or fear mongering which a lot of parties seem to want to push at the moment. Does not benefit the old establishments though, how can this be shot down?

  3. I’d be much more brutal.
    I was driven out of my home village by second homers buying the affordable properties and then only using them for about 5/6 weeks per annum. If they wanted to live there full time I could live with that but to under-use scarce local resources in this way is criminal. I’d charge them 20 times the council tax and then make the local authority use the extra cash to provide affordable homes.

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