Second home-owning Tory MS complains about ‘belittling’ of second home-owners
A second home-owning Tory MS has complained about what she called the “belittling” of second home-owners.
Janet Finch Saunders, who is the Senedd’s most prolific landlord, owning or co-owning 7 properties, suggested that “we should be thanking our holiday-let operators”.
She accused the Welsh Government of “swaying towards Plaid Cymru’s nationalist stance of being anti-tourist, anti-business and anti-ambition” following a debate in the Senedd with the Minister for Finance Rebecca Evans.
The Conservative Senedd member for Aberconwy said she has concerns about the push towards taxation as a means of combatting the country’s housing crisis.
According to the register of interests she jointly owns 2 residential properties, 4 retail properties in Conwy County, as well as jointly owns a holiday-let property in Menai Bridge.
Janet Finch Saunders said: “After one of the busiest seasons ever experienced in Llandudno and North Wales, we should be thanking our holiday-let operators for the immense economic benefit that they bring to our communities and tourism offer.
“I know I am not alone in rejecting the constant flow of negative and belittling comments aimed at our second home and self-catering accommodation owners.
“For too long, this Welsh Government has been swaying towards Plaid Cymru’s nationalist stance of being anti-tourist, anti-business and anti-ambition.
She added: “Local Authorities have rightly been hesitant to increase these premiums. This tool was actually intended to bring long-term empty homes back into use but this has not been achieved.
“The current regressive stance taken by the Welsh Government towards taxation and against private landlords is only serving to push them towards the lucrative market of holiday-let accommodation.
“The Welsh Government must come forward with plans to incentivise our private landlords to remain in the private rented sector rather than moving over to the hospitality sector.”
In the Senedd, the Minister for Finance Rebecca Evans said: “Private landlords do have an important part to play in terms of our housing stock in here in Wales.
“It’s a positive choice for people who want to rent, and we’ve done good work in the past years in terms of Rent Smart Wales and the work that we’ve done there to try and ensure that the offer from private landlords is a quality offer for individuals here in Wales and to ensure that that sector does provide a really important and useful part of the housing options for people for whom renting is the right choice, and it is a positive choice for many people, so we need to ensure that it’s a good experience for them.”