The devastating impact of second home ownership in Cornwall

Posted on: 6th November 2014

Local MP, Andrew George, had proposed introducing clauses into his “Affordable Homes Bill” to put a cap on second homes in places like West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly but not only were the Conservatives opposed but the Labour Party continues to oppose such caps, therefore Mr George had no choice but to withdraw that clause from his Bill.

Mr George said, “The last time the Conservatives were in power they introduced a massive £multimillion council tax discount for second home owners.  Much, but not all, of this has been removed but there are still massive financial incentives for second home owners.

“It is telling that if you are wealthy and under occupy your second home the Conservatives reward you.  If you are poor and under occupy your council house they penalise you.

“Many second home owners are taking advantage of a loophole which allows them to register for business rates and then take advantage of the Small Business Rate Relief which means they pay either nothing or very little at all.  They can also take advantage of marketing their cottages without charging VAT as they fall below that threshold – to the disadvantage of legitimate holiday businesses like larger guest houses and hotels.

“Second and investment home ownership is having a devastating impact on communities like St Ives.  I am surprised and disappointed that both Labour and Conservative Parties are so implacably opposed to the introduction of sensible regulations to help communities like St Ives better manage their housing stock to give local families a better chance in the marketplace and to protect the life of our local communities.”