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Council tax discounts for second homeowners to be abolished

The HomeOwners Alliance welcomes government moves to end unfair tax relief

December 17, 2012

Councils have been given the OK to end tax discounts for the 255,000 second homes in the UK. Eric Pickles, the Communities secretary, has confirmed that from April next year councils will be able to charge the full amount of council tax on second homes. Previously second home owners benefited from discounts ranging from 10-50% of their council tax bill. It had been argued that as owners of second homes only spend a small portion of the year in the area they should not have to pay full whack for the council’s services.

However, as the scarcity of housing has become more and more apparent this rule has seemed increasingly perverse. Many countries such as Canada and Australia actually force second homeowners to pay more than on their first home. This is because those with second homes are viewed as only the wealthiest and so, like income tax, should be made to pay proportionally more than those with just one home.

The HomeOwners Alliance welcomes the Government’s move as a necessary correction to an unfair and wasteful discount. The UK is experiencing an acute housing crisis and it is irrational to reward behaviour that leaves perfectly good homes empty for much of the year.

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