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Double council tax on second homes to fund small rural schools, MP tells Education Secretary

March 29, 2022 2:22 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons yesterday, local MP Tim Farron urged the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi to double council tax on second homes to increase funding for small rural schools.

Speaking during a statement in Parliament on the Government's Schools White Paper, Tim said: "In Cumbria, we have some of the best schools in the country, but we also have some of the smallest because the communities they serve are often half empty - homes are not lived in because they are owned by second homeowners.

"Would he agree with me that it is right to tax second homeowners at least twice the rate of council tax and to use that funding to make sure rural community schools have the support they need to do the job at which they are so good at?"

Responding, the Secretary of State for Education said: "We are supporting small rural schools through the national funding formula to make sure they have the funds they need."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "The response from the minister was truly woeful.

"After the pandemic, our schools need as much support as possible to help young people catch up with the many months of lost learning.

"Doubling council tax on second homes seems a good way of raising funds to help to do that but sadly the Secretary of State seemed totally disinterested."