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East of England Liberal Democrats

Postscript to the Budget on Second Homes

November 7, 2018 12:00 PM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

Budget boxSecond Homes Campaign Takes Another Step Forward in the Budget

As previously reported the Liberal Democrat campaign, to ensure all second home owners pay their fair share of tax, led by our own newly elected District Councillor for Southwold & Reydon David Beavan, has clearly found its way to the Treasury and the matter is now very clearly on the record:

On 29 October 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered the Autumn 2018 Budget. Phillip Hammond - Budget

Self-catering and holiday let accommodation

To ensure that second properties are subject to the appropriate tax, the government intends to consult on the criteria under which self-catering and holiday lets become chargeable to business rates rather than council tax. No date for the consultation has been announced.

(Autumn 2018 Budget, paragraph 3.38.)

Quoting para 3.38

Business rates treatment of self-catering and holiday let accommodation - There is concern that some owners of properties that are not genuine businesses may seek to reduce their tax liability by falsely declaring that the property is available for let. To ensure that second properties are subject to the appropriate tax, the government will consult on the criteria under which self-catering and holiday lets become chargeable to business rates rather than council tax.

The hard work by David Beavan and his fellow campaigners on the issue was widely reported in the local, regional and national media and pressed home by Lord John Shipley in the recent Lords Debate on Housing, also gaining the support of Lord Deben, is beginning to pay off. David and Andrew George, former Lib Dem MP for St Ives in Cornwall, where the issue is also causing real concern, took to the Federal Conference platform in Brighton in September on an amendment to the Affordable, Secure Home for All motion and passed by Conference.

The Government's promise to consult often means 'kicking the issue into the long grass' or simply creating another loophole for tax lawyers to unpick and to create new inventive ways around.

Andrew George (Wikimedia Commons Keith Edkins CC BY-SA 3.0)Andrew George said; "The answer lies in the purpose of the Lib Dem amendment passed at Conference re. Introducing a helpful legal (through planning law) definition of "non-permanent occupancy" of homes previously or would otherwise be used for permanent occupancy".

Lib Dem Peer, John Shipley said "This is good news. I shall be covering it in our debate on the Budget shortly and will also place a written question on the timing and asking for other detail". JohnShipley

David Beavan

District Councillor David Beavan welcomed the Budget announcement, adding we must keep up the pressure until this loophole is finally closed to the benefit of the wider community".

End

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