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Plaid Cymru brands Welsh Gov’s holiday homes tax consultation ‘too narrow’

25 Aug 2021 2 minute read
The coastal village of Aberdyfi, Gwynedd. Picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Plaid Cymru has branded the Welsh Government’s consultation on local taxes on second homes and holiday lets as “too narrow”.

They party’s spokesperson for housing, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS has called for more immediate action to tackle the housing crisis.

He has broadly welcomed the consultation, but has called the scope “narrow” and warns that this shouldn’t be at the “expense of direct action that could be taken now”.

“People are being priced out of their communities now” says Mr ap Gwynfor “and the crisis is worsening”.

Plaid Cymru has previously demanded direct interventions to mitigate the housing crisis, which include trebling the Land Transaction tax on purchases of Second Homes, and changing planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes.

They would also close the loophole that allows second homeowners to register their property as “businesses” in order to avoid paying the council tax premium.

‘Fewer properties’

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Housing, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said: “Rising house prices, increasing demand for second homes, and fewer properties available for rental – the housing crisis in Wales is getting worse.

“While the chance for communities to be heard via this consultation is, of course, welcome, my concern is that it masks the fact more immediate action could be taken now.

“For a start, the Welsh Government could act within existing legislation to create new classes of property so that short term lets and second homes could be accurately identified.

“In launching a consultation, the government has at last acknowledged there is a housing crisis but in failing to act where they can, they are allowing this crisis to get worse.”

“Our communities should use this opportunity to have their voices heard, but the truth is that the Labour Government owes it to them to address the crisis with the seriousness and urgency it deserves – ensuring they can live and work in the area they call home, before it’s too late.”

The open consultation launched by Welsh Government today invites views on the possible changes to local taxes, and closes on 17 November 2021.

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2 years ago

As I said earlier this is a blight. It is a compound of factors, all very negative, all pricing people of all ages out of the market in the neighbourhoods they were raised in. Any consultation is likely to be too narrow but set that aside and get these narrower issues sorted sharpish and move swiftly on to the next. The all embracing revolution will not happen so best get this show on the road and get ready to get the next stage up and running. Mabon seems to be a genuine guy who wants to get things done. Contrasts… Read more »

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
2 years ago

A v useful contribution by Mabon and Plaid and yes there is certainly merit in moving forward to highlight this vital subject.which effects many parts of Wales and Cornwall. However there may be a danger ⚠️ in seeing this issue in a too simple ‘ fix all ‘ way.. Rural viability that allows for a healthy mix of age groups, demographic backgrounds and work opportunities allows for easy access to shops, schools and community facilities…. Putting off folk whether from England or increasing urban/ metro Wales from buying second homes is one ‘ battle’ but the real fight is to… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 years ago

I’m afraid consultation is a waste of time. We can see the detrimental effects on our communities, firm, tough action needs to be taken now.

John Rees Moss
John Rees Moss
2 years ago

House prices in some coastal areas of Wales are “high” because they are nice places to live. It is nothing to do with second homes. For example, the percentage of second homes in Nefyn – a very nice place to live – is 18.6%. Therefore 81.4% of properties are main residences. I would add that these “high” property prices are extremely “low” when compared to similar houses in the South of England. To buy any property an individual needs to be in employment to qualify for a mortgage. I have spoken to many small and medium sized businesses in North… Read more »

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