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.
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.