Even though there is still a chronic housing shortage in the UK, a Lib Dem MP has enraged homeowners and landlords with his latest idea.
According to the Liberal Democrat regeneration minister Andrew Stunell
“…it is a crime to allow properties to lie empty for more than six months
In an impassioned speech at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham this week, Mr Stunell vowed to crack down on the owners of long-empty UK properties, by empowering local authorities to add a levy to their council tax bills.
The Regeneration Minister spoke of his determination to move away from the current system, under which property owners are spared from paying council tax for the first six months of their properties being empty, after which time they are liable to pay the standard occupied rate.
In his speech he said “A tax hike would force empty home owners to return to the market”.
A £100 Million (GBP) pot would be set aside to fund the regeneration of empty properties.
This will allow community and voluntary groups to be able to apply for funding to do up a proportion of the 300,000 empty properties across the UK themselves.
These latest controversial proposals will now go for further consultation, while the Con-Dem Government drafts its new empty homes strategy that is due to be published this Autumn.
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