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Watch: Second home measures will drive away ‘people who love Wales and want to be part of it’ says Welsh Secretary

01 Aug 2022 4 minute read
Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland. Photo Jonathan Brady PA Images

New measures to tackle the housing crisis in Wales by bringing down the number of second homes will drive away people “who love the country and want to be part of it” according to the new Welsh Secretary.

Visiting the Eisteddfod in Ceredigion today, Robert Buckland told S4C that he was against Welsh Government plans to allow local authorities to raise taxes on holiday homes by 300%.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

But Robert Buckland said that people should think about the impact that the changes would have on the local economy.

“I know a lot of local people will feel that people are being priced out of the neighbourhood, that families can’t live, generations can’t live near to each other,” he said.

“But I think that could be an artificial downer, if you like, on the local economy – because I think part of the lifeblood of west Wales is tourism, and therefore, we need to get the balance right.”

He added: “I think every one of us, whether we live here full time or have a second home has a responsibility, I think, to the local economy and indeed to the local community.

“And I think that we should be trusting people’s good sense in the way that they use their homes and allow homes to be used by others. You know, there’s all sorts of ways Airbnb, or whatever – all sorts of ways in which houses don’t have to lie idle and can become, you know, a vital part of our economy.”


Robert Buckland was then asked about changing to taxes on second homes in Wales due to be introduced next year.

“I’m worried about that,” he said. “I think that could drive out a lot of people who have for familial and historical reasons, kept their links with Wales.

“I think any reasonable person, people who love the country and want to be part of it, my worry is that with that sort of punitive rise, you’re going to drive people away.

“You’re going to force sales, you’re going to depress house prices. I am not sure that that heavy handed approach is the right way to deal with rural parts of Wales.

“I think it’s causing real problems and pain in places like Pembrokeshire, where tourism is such an important part of the economy. It’s all about getting the balance, right.

“You know, I hear the arguments. I respect them. I understand the tensions. But sometimes measures like that can actually have the opposite effect on what is intended.”

‘Achievable’

He said that the answer instead was to ‘level up’ communities so that young people could afford the house prices in the area.

“It’s also about opportunity,” he said. “And that’s where the levelling up agenda is so important.

“Why should young people have to move away from their local area to succeed? Why is it not the case that they can adopt their chosen career in the land or the area of their birth?

“With technology, that is going to be more and more possible, you know, there are millions of people are working from their, their homes. This is possible and indeed achievable in the short term.”


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26 Comments
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Syr Wynff ap Concor Y Boss
Syr Wynff ap Concor Y Boss
4 months ago

I can’t be arsed to moan. Let just say, yet again another useless Tory MP

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
4 months ago

Well…you see the thing is, even estate agents in that London that they have now have said that this is the right way to go….

Welsh Tory policy is to be oppositional to any plans made to tackle inequality …because they want to conserve The English Establishment System.

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
4 months ago

Got any other solutions to the problem then, Robert?

.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago

This lot’ll lie about anything

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago

Is there a factory that churns out these clowns?

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
4 months ago

Why do Tories hate Wales so much?!? (The MP for Swindon)

Quornby
Quornby
4 months ago

Is that why you live and work in England for the Tory idiocrasy against Welsh interests?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
4 months ago

Can Mr. Buckland give Wales an absolute guarantee that measures to reduce the number of second homes here will “depress house prices” sufficiently to make them affordable to local people in the playground areas?

Rhy5
Rhy5
4 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

…and thereby put local people who have already financially stretched themselves to buy their own homes into negative equity at a time of rising interest rates

Kurt Constable
Kurt Constable
4 months ago

If you love anything, you comprimise. Not arrogantly railroad in and take.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
3 months ago
Reply to  Kurt Constable

This is what they always seem to overlook!

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

RB has held elected office in S W Wales but since the 80s Wales has changed and the export of locals in Dyfed to Swindon, Reading and Bristol is no longer the thing to do.

He might perhaps benefit from a chat with Tory chums in Cornwall, Cumbria, Isle of Wight and North Yorks to hear their views !

Their views are far nearer to those of Adam Drakeford and Mark Prices Welsh Gvt ….

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago

If people want to be part of Wales, they can come and live in their FIRST home here and learn what we are about. We value our country, language, fairness and social justice. Sadly, there are turncoats with Welsh accents who firmly believe in the proliferation of ghost villages where all locals are driven out in the quest to destroy our (and their if only they realised and respected it) country but please come here and live happily ever after in an Independent nation free of Tory oppression where we have never in electoral history EVER majority voted them in… Read more »

R W
R W
4 months ago

So Buckland says that these measures “’are going to depress house prices” in Wales. GOOD!! Surely that’s the whole idea when the cost of property across many areas is currently way beyond the reach of most locals to even contemplate buying a home to live in. Buckland is just another Tory Twit!!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

New builds for locals only, whether those working for the council, schools, health boards or caring for the elderly or in tourism on minimum wage or young tradesmen milking the last penny out of our older house owning parents and grand parents or professionals who charge a days wages every hour, all need housing that matches their pockets. Shop local and house local…but there are many siblings who left Wales and now have inherited a share in their deceased parents property and have a choice to sell up and share the money or keep the property and share it for… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago

I’m glad measures on planning and tax have come in to control the proliferation of second homes. Very glad indeed. Buckland sticking his oar in where neither he nor his party has a mandate to govern has demonstrated the bancrupcy of his views. English towns are taking similar measures. Tories in England are calling for similar. Mendacious bunch of chancers these Tories. That he says that “tourism is the lifeblood” of the west of Wales’ economy is also at the heart of the problem. He goes on to trot out the populist “levelling up” policy which has proven to be… Read more »

Family Care
4 months ago

Hello,
Such nice information.
Thank you so much.

Pawl
Pawl
4 months ago

Pwy yng Nghymru bleidleisiodd dros *uckland?

South Wales
South Wales
4 months ago
Reply to  Pawl

Dic Sion Dafydd a’i teulu

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
4 months ago

It stinks of old colonialism that is the way tory and the english establishment see it what about the people from these areas who are driven out because they cannot afford to buy or rent in their areas he is a disgrace

Morgan Morgan
Morgan Morgan
4 months ago

He’s absolutely right. Thankfully it’s only a very small amount of Welsh citizens, living in a indy vacuum chamber who can’t see that they’re shooting themselves in the foot with these insane policies.

JAD
JAD
4 months ago
Reply to  Morgan Morgan

The tories have adopted the idea and are letting councils in England raise taxes on second homes. The Leeds Building Society has just announced that they will no longer offer second home mortgages. How’s your argument going?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
3 months ago
Reply to  Morgan Morgan

Lol! Tell that to the long-suffering inhabitants of Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District and Yorkshire.

Think you will find they are in full support of what we are doing and want to do the same themselves to protect their own communities!

Last edited 3 months ago by SundanceKid
George
George
4 months ago

It’s a fair point, but not taking any action is currently driving away people who have always loved the area and want to be a part of it. What is the alternative plan rather than just saying West Wales is only about tourism?

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
3 months ago
Reply to  George

They have no alternative plan.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
4 months ago

Buckland should deserve a chocolate medal for his efforts for inviting all his London Tory mates to these shores and sending house prices soaring so that local working people cannot afford them. Typical Conservative policy!

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