Leeder wants tax hike on second homes

THE growing number of second homes could give rise to out-of-season ghost towns, Labour's General Election candidate for Suffolk Coastal has warned.Adam Leeder is calling for council tax discounts on second homes to be abolished and the extra cash raised to be ring-fenced to provide affordable and starter homes for local people.

Graham Dines

THE growing number of second homes could give rise to out-of-season ghost towns, Labour's General Election candidate for Suffolk Coastal has warned.

Adam Leeder is calling for council tax discounts on second homes to be abolished and the extra cash raised to be ring-fenced to provide affordable and starter homes for local people.

As a result of increased second home ownership in Suffolk Coastal, the average cost of a house in the constituency is �83,198 higher than in Ipswich, despite the average wage being only �22 a week higher,” says Mr Leeder.


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“Given how beautiful Suffolk's coastal towns are, I can see why people want to set up a holiday home here.

“But given the impact that large numbers of second homes have, both on the sustainability of the local community and on local house prices, I want second home owners to pay their way.

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“It cannot be right that in towns like Southwold where beach huts sell for more than �80,000, some people cannot afford to get their feet on the housing ladder. That's why I want to see second home owners pay the same tax as local residents and the extra money raised pumped into affordable housing for local people.”

Mr Leeder wants the Government to change the rules and allow local authorities to charge the full rate of council tax on second homes. At the moment, the weekenders only pay 90 per cent of the property taxes levied on full-time residents.

With the extra cash raised, Mr Leeder argues that it should be used for councils to provide affordable and starter homes.

In a recent report, spending watchdog the Audit Commission said the large number of second homes in Suffolk Coastal was having “an impact on the viability of small local shops and pubs in villages.”

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