Let councils raise tax on second homes

Tim Farron MP

Cumbria Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has tabled a motion in Parliament which calls on the Government to give local councils the power to considerably increase council tax on second homes.

Last month the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority became the first local authority in the country to formally offer in principle support for a five-year pilot scheme in which council tax would be significantly increased on second homes in the park.

In a letter to the Lake District National Park Authority, Tim encouraged the park to follow their lead and press the Government to give local authorities the power to increase council tax on second homes.

Tim said: “Many of our local communities face challenges as a result of the rapid increase in second home ownership.

“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.

“The high level of second home ownership also inflates the prices of housing locally and further restricts the opportunity for young people who grew up here to be able to get a foot on the housing ladder.

“Allowing councils to significantly increase council tax on second homes would not be about penalising second home owners, but about asking them to pay a fair contribution towards those vital local services which are at risk.

“It’s absolutely vital that as we start to reap the benefits of becoming a World Heritage Site, we have in place the measures which will keep our communities thriving and ensure that Cumbria remains an amazing place to live for everyone.”