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Conservative MS blasts plans to change rules for holiday let businesses in Wales

12 May 2022 3 minute read
Janet Finch-Saunders speaking in the Senedd

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething is being urged to take action to protect ‘genuine holiday lets’ from potential closure.

As part of the agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru to address the housing crisis in Wales, the number of days a self-catering business must be open to qualify for business rate relief will increase to 252 days a year (an 80% increase.) and the property must then be let out for 182 days an increase of 150%.

At present to be classed as a business in Wales, self-catering operators have to be open for holiday bookings for 140 days a year, and their properties must be let for 70 days a year.

In parallel with the rate relief changes, from next year councils in Wales will be given the power to charge up to an extra 300% council tax on self-catering businesses that fail to get their properties let for 182 days.

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders says the changes will result in many holiday let businesses closing and described the measures as a “direct attack on the tourism sector”.

‘Backing business’

Mrs Finch Saunders: “If Plaid Cymru truly want an independent Wales they need to be strengthening the economy and backing business.

“What we are seeing is the nationalists in cahoots with the socialists pursuing a direct attack on the tourism sector.”

“Genuine holiday let businesses here in Aberconwy have made clear that despite being open all year round, an even with discounts applied, they never achieve 6 months occupancy.

“The winter season can be extremely difficult, even in honey-pots like Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed, and I am aware that there is little or no market in some areas for most Sundays to Thursday.

“Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour are proving again that they do not understand business nor the tourism sector.

“They are setting us on a trajectory in which the value of hospitality to Conwy County could fall from the current level of around £900 million and over 12,319 jobs.”.

There are approximately 8000 self-catering properties in Wales, generating approximately £134 million every year for the Welsh economy and sustaining approximately 4700 jobs.

Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) research found only 16% of self-catering operators thought they could work within the proposed 182-day threshold.

Self-catering accommodation has become increasingly significant for the rural economy in recent years, with 14% of the 34.000 Welsh farms now having some form of tourism element, mainly self-catering.


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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago

How did I know that anti Welsh foreigner would be involved as soon as I read the headline?

Wfexhamian
Wfexhamian
4 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Believe it or no, she was born in Llandudno. I have no idea, however, how she acquired a Lancashire accent.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
4 months ago
Reply to  Wfexhamian

Because she dislikes being classed as Welsh.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
4 months ago
Reply to  Wfexhamian

I can’t find anything that states where she was born. Not even her wikipedia page mentions anywhere.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
4 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Her Wikidata page claims that she was born in Llandudno. If so, she must have spent her entire childhood only speaking to her parents, and never went to school.

Marc
Marc
4 months ago

70 days out of 365 is not a business more a minor inconvenience to owning a holiday home

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Marc

Exactly, and it is grossly unfair to be able to claim business rates on properties that are let for as little as 70 days a year.

Gareth Plas
Gareth Plas
4 months ago

This is now going the right way.
I am curious about their annual contribution to Wales, that being, taxes paid. Say the properties average out at £1000 pw, and are let out every week, how is the figure reached. Also, what are these jobs they talk about? I suspect a very imaginative and creative use of lies…oops sorry, I mean statistics.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Gareth Plas

Yes, it would be interesting to know a little more about the loadings and the revenues and costs. Clearly the jobs created are essentially to do with cleaning the properties against the clock, installing clean linen and doing any emergency repairs. All of that happens on Fridays or Saturdays and nothing the rest of the week. My own experience of holiday lets in Wales is that most of them were not up to the standard that I have experienced elsewhere in the UK. Over the years other parts seem to have raised the standard so that the ‘cottage’ is smart,… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
4 months ago

“Conservative MS blasts ….” Must be a Thursday. The quest for relevance continues.
Remember when they thought they were going to win Y Senedd elections last year?
Interesting how Mrs French and Saunders describes certain places as “a honeypot”. It’s always moeny money money with them

Last edited 4 months ago by Cynan
Lebowski
Lebowski
4 months ago

Wicked bitch of the west

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

The hostility shown towards this second home & business lets policy by the Welsh Conservatives is because it’s highly likely they themselves own holiday homes or lets and have a vested interest the reason for their bilious criticism.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I also suspect that they see second homes and overtourism in Wales as an opportunity to dilute the local population, forcing people to move away and erasing the language and culture in the process. This allows them to import more of their fan base here and expand their voting base. This is what I think it ultimately boils down to.

Gwynfor
Gwynfor
4 months ago

How many houses does Janet Finch-Saunders own?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Gwynfor

Think it was reported as 7. One wonders if she has a conflict of interest here.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
4 months ago

Seems to me that Janet Finch Saunders is about to lose some of her income. She only seems to complain when it personally affects her. No interest whatsoever in her constituents.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago

If they are only open for 70 days a year and can use business rates to avoid council tax premiums, then it is unlikely they are contributing very much to our economy anyway.

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