MP Tim Farron: Second homes' tax would help create affordable housing (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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MP Tim Farron: Second homes' tax would help create affordable housing
SECOND home owners in the Lake District could be charged more council tax in a bid to help locals in need of housing.
Speaking in the House of Commons, MP Tim Farron said there are currently 3,000 people in South Lakeland on a housing waiting list.
But there are more than 3,500 second homes locally - many lying empty for more than 90 per cent of the year.
The Liberal Democrats have proposed an Empty Homes Premium to give councils powers to charge landlords extra tax if they do not fill their properties.
But Mr Farron wants this extended to cover second homes.
The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP was encouraged to submit his request to the Government’s consultation, Technical Reforms to Council Tax.
The Government has already announced that councils will no longer have to offer holiday home owners a tax subsidy of up to 50 per cent.
“The decision to end the ridiculous subsidy for second homes was a massive win but, with over 3,000 families in South Lakeland on the social housing waiting list, we need to do more,” said Mr Farron.
Mr Farron added that another levy on second homes would generate money to build more homes for local people.
“We can use the money to build more affordable housing to end this incredible injustice,” he said.