Second home owners rewarded as they will benefit twice from Rishi Sunak’s £400 energy bill cut

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Rishi Sunak. Photo by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Right, protest in Nefyn on Saturday May 1 against the growing problem of second home ownership in the area. By Sion Bryn Evans.

There has been criticism of Rishi Sunak’s energy bill cut after it was revealed second home owners will get it twice – double the £400 others received.

The Treasury has confirmed this applies to every detached home – including second homes – drawing criticism from MPs who have campaigned to cut the number of second homes.

Cumbria MP Tim Farron, who called for action from Wales to tackle the number of second homes to be enforced in England, said it showed the measure was “urgent work to try to save skin of the Prime Minister”.

“Excessive second home ownership is killing rural communities, but the Tories have now given an incentive to make it even worse for us,” said the former Liberal Democrat leader.

Around 772,000 households with two homes will benefit from £800 in October instead of the £400 received by those with just one.

Around 61,000 people with three homes are awaiting payments totaling £1,200. The Chancellor himself owns three homes in the UK, but said he would donate any money he receives from the scheme to charity.

‘Impact’

The Welsh Government confirmed last week that it will continue to raise taxes on holiday lets who do not let their properties for more than half the year.

Following a consultation, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said she “recognizes the strength of sentiment among gite operators” but would not change the planned legislative changes.

Some vacation rental owners had argued that this would become unsustainable if planned legislative changes materialize next year.

From April, local authorities will be able to set housing tax premiums on second homes and long-term vacant properties at 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for subjecting lodgings to professional rates instead of housing tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days. This will prevent second home owners from classifying homes as businesses because they are rented out for a fifth of the year.

“As part of the co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru, we are committed to taking immediate action to address the impact of second homes and unaffordable housing in communities across Wales, using the planning systems , ownership and taxation,” said Rebecca Evans.

“As we continue to advance the set of measures and build on the latest evidence, we will continuously monitor the set of levers available to use and how they can be most effectively deployed to achieve our goals. policies and avoid any unintended consequences.”

She added: “I recognize the strength of sentiment among lodge operators and have listened to representations from individual companies and industry representative bodies.

“There is limited evidence available regarding some of these considerations and I am grateful to the sector for providing additional information it has gathered from its members.

“This was taken into account when drafting the explanatory memorandum and regulatory impact assessment, which uses available evidence. I recognize that the more stringent criteria may be difficult for some operators to meet.

“The purpose of the change is to help ensure that landlords make a fair contribution to local communities, for example by increasing their contribution to the local economy through greater rental activity or paying council tax on their properties.


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About Michael B. Billingsley

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