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MP urges Government to extend new council tax raising powers to second homes

July 26, 2018 1:06 PM

TimFollowing the news that local authorities will be able to substantially increase council tax on empty homes, local MP Tim Farron has written to the Government asking for the same powers to be available for second homes.

This week, the Government announced that they are introducing provisions for local authorities to be able to triple the council tax on homes left empty for five to 10 years and quadruple it on those empty for more than a decade.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire, Tim made the case for these powers to be extended to deal with excessive levels of second homes.

It's estimated that there are currently 933 empty homes in South Lakeland compared to 3,721 which are classified as second homes.

Tim said: "The Government's announcement is clearly a positive move forward so that empty homes can be brought back into use for local families.

"But in the South Lakes, it's the excessive number of second homes that is causing the biggest problem for our young people to be able to get a foot on the housing ladder.

"Obviously people have a right to buy a second home but when you've got so many homes not lived in, it means you've not got people sending their kids to the local school, using the post office or the bus services. Then you end up with the risk of losing those services because they're no longer viable.

"If the Government were to extend these new powers so that local authorities could increase council tax for both empty homes and second homes, then it would go a long way to helping us tackle the enormous housing problem we have here in South Cumbria."