£millions of Pandemic aid handouts for second homers while low incomers get none

Posted on: 16th March 2020


Fighting for justice for the low paid and self employed, many of whom face severe hardship from the Government’s emergency C-19 measures. Meanwhile the Government gives generous handouts to second home owners.

The grants now being offered to Cornwall’s second homers who don’t need the £70 million+ they will be entitled to claim under the Conservatives’ emergency measures should be diverted to those genuinely in need.

Under the radar of last week’s Budget the Conservative Government has offered £70 million to Cornwall and Scillies’ second home owners while low paid workers and self-employed are left to struggle without help.

The owners of the 7,000+ second homes in Cornwall and Scilly who’ve opted to use a tax dodge available through the business rating system to avoid paying any tax at all on their property investments will now each be offered another £10,000 Coronavirus handout. In contrast the Conservatives announced no support for the low paid who don’t earn enough to be eligible for sick pay nor for the thousands who struggle in the gig economy who get nothing. Nor is there anything for many small businesses and self employed who don’t work from business premises – eg the many who provide mobile services or who are self employed in someone else’s premises (eg hairdressers etc).

“Although I don’t believe the Conservatives have deliberately set out to use this crisis to offer handouts to thousands of second home owners who don’t need it, this is part of a pattern which has always erred on the side of – even if unintentionally – favouring their natural core supporters to the detriment of others who are less able to fend for themselves. The Government should be using this crisis to ensure the country is “levelled-up” and to assure everyone that we’re all in it together, pulling in the same direction and being treated equally. It is regrettable that so far they have reverted to character.”

The Government has announced small businesses that already pay little or no business rates will be eligible for a one-off coronavirus grant worth up to £3,000. Today(17th March), this was increased to £10,000 each.
Around 700,000 businesses in England currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief can apply for the emergency funding.
That includes the 7,000+ second homes in Cornwall & Scilly which opted for business rates (rather than Council Tax) and then successfully applied for small business rate relief and pay nothing!
The additional £2.2bn of funding for local authorities who collect business rates is part of a package of fiscal measures intended to help small business survive the coronavirus pandemic. Not to feather the nests of those who’ve already been unjustifiably well protected through loop-holes in the Conservatives’ tax policy.

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