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MP calls for Government to allow local councils to increase council tax on second homes

March 10, 2021 12:15 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has made fresh calls for the Government to tackle the rise of excessive second home ownership in Cumbria, by giving local councils in England the power to significantly increase council tax on second homes.

It comes as Gwynedd Council in Wales has announced plans to double council tax on second homes.

Meanwhile Tim has also accused the Government of 'dragging it's feet' after failing to respond to their own consultation which ended in January 2019 on closing a loophole which allows second homeowners to get away with paying no council tax whatsoever by pretending to be a holiday let.

Tim said: "The increasing number of second homes, many of which are left empty for big chunks of the year, threatens to turn many of our local communities into ghost towns.

"Sadly the Government's decision to drag their feet on a two year old consultation on closing the tax loophole for second homeowners shows that they are simply not taking this issue seriously.

"We need our local councils to be given the power to raise council tax on second homes. This would not only disincentivise people from buying second homes here in the South Lakes but it would also provide funds for us to compensate local schools, public transport and other services that are damaged by the lack of a full time population."