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MP wins long battle to scrap second home council tax subsidy

November 1, 2011 9:28 AM

TF KendalSouth Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has won a lengthy battle today as the government announced that local councils will no longer be forced to provide up to a 50% subsidy on Council Tax for second home owners.

Under the current system, owners of more than one home can claim a council tax subsidy on each 'second' home, which is defined as any home that is not their primary place of residence.

With the South Lakes being home to more than 3,200 second homes Tim has long been campaigning alongside the charity, Shelter, to end this subsidy. Earlier this year Tim, alongside South Lakeland District Council Leader Cllr Brendan Jameson, met with Lib Dem Local Government Minister, Andrew Stunell to lobby him on this issue. Last Autumn, Tim's Parliamentary Question to Treasury Minister Mark Hoban MP led to the government formally investigating the possibility of scrapping the subsidy.

The Government's decision will bring in up to an additional £751,000 in council tax receipts from south Lakeland, which could be used to help tackle the ongoing shortage of affordable homes for local families.

Tim said: "I am over the moon that the Government has taken up my proposal to end the second home council tax subsidy. At the moment local families in the South Lakes on the minimum wage are subsidising the council tax for wealthy bankers who have a second home here. This situation is morally wrong, and it is also a waste of money. The decision to end this subsidy is a victory for fairness and a victory for our area. It is fantastic news that councils like South Lakeland will be able to abolish this unfair tax rebate and be able to put the money saved to good use to help those who are struggling."