Tax break for new second homeowners a kick in the teeth for Cumbria’s communities – MP tells Parliament
On the floor of the House of Commons last night, local MP Tim Farron told ministers that a new tax break for second homeowners is 'an insult' for communities in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
New measures announced in the Chancellor's 'mini-budget' last week mean that people looking to buy a second home will now only have to pay stamp duty at 3% on a property worth up to £500,000.
This a significant tax cut from the 8% stamp duty that second homeowners had to previously pay on a property which cost £250,000 and up - potentially saving them thousands of pounds.
Speaking during the second reading of the Stamp Duty Land Tax Bill, Tim said: "As somebody who lives among these communities, I cannot deny the evidence of my eyes, which is that excessive second home ownership kills communities.
"When 50% of the homes in Coniston are not lived in all year round, of course that is one of the reasons why the schools in that community do not have the numbers they would otherwise, of course it is a reason why bus services struggle, and of course it is a reason why shops, post offices and others shut.
"That is why this boon and bonus to second home owners is an insult to people in the Lakes and the Dales - the local people struggling to get by there - and why this should be an opportunity not to give these people an additional incentive to take homes out of the local market, but to tackle the incentives that currently exist."