Wealthy Eastleigh residents who own second homes may soon lose the discounts they get on their Council Tax bill in legislation that the Department of Communities and Local Government is expected to announce later today.
Lib Dem controlled Eastleigh Borough Council currently gives a 10% discount on the Council Tax due on second homes – some councils offer as much as 50% – but critics say local tax payers should not be expected to subsidise people’s second homes while struggling to pay their own bills in full and while the country is in the grip of a housing crisis.
Eastleigh Borough Council has 6,200 people on its housing register.
Conservative Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles says the extra income from making second home owners cough up should be used to give everyone a £20 council tax break.
He told the BBC:
“By removing the subsidised tax breaks for empty homes and second homes, we can cut £20 a year off families’ council tax bills by treating everyone equally and fairly.”
One local resident, 54, who did not wish to be named, reacted angrily to the news:
“I can’t believe that our local councillors have been wringing their hands over the ‘housing shortage’ while at the same time giving hundreds of pounds away in incentives to home hoarders”