People with holiday homes in Wales could face TRIPLE council tax bills under nationalists’ plans to stop locals being forced out
- Plaid Cymru wants to place a limit on second homes in parts of north Wales
- Nationalist party could also propose 200 per cent on second home council tax
- One in eight properties in Gwynedd county are second homes – one of the highest rates in Europe
- Pledge has been slammed by Tory councillors and tourism industry leaders
Welsh nationalists have proposed tripling council tax on second home owners in a move to stop local people being forced out of villages.
Yesterday the idea of allowing councils to impose a premium of up to 200 per cent was criticised by Tories and tourism industry leaders.
Plaid Cymru, should it win the Senedd elections, is also proposing a cap for second homes for parts of north Wales and to alter rules so they can’t be classed as businesses.
It says more than a third of homes being sold in Gwynedd and Anglesey are being bought as second properties.
Welsh nationalists have proposed tripling council tax on second home owners in a move to stop local people being forced out of villages in the northern counties (stock photo)
In Gwynedd, 12 per cent of the housing stock is owned by people from outside the county, among the highest proportion in Europe, making it impossible for people to buy homes in their own areas, it is claimed.
Delyth Jewell, Plaid’s shadow housing minister, said countries throughout the world including New Zealand and Denmark have taken similar action.
She added: ‘We can’t go on like this, it’s not fair that people who are living in areas already disadvantaged in terms of a lack of work opportunities have to see their communities slowly being transformed as locals have to move away in order to find a house in live in.
Delyth Jewell, Plaid’s shadow housing minister, said countries throughout the world including New Zealand and Denmark have taken similar action against second home owners
‘I am deeply concerned about the effect this will have on the Welsh language, it will be a stain on the conscience of the nation if the language is allowed to wither away in its heartlands simply because the Welsh Government doesn’t want to act.’
Gwynedd council, run by Plaid, has already doubled council tax for its five thousand second homes, many of them in Snowdonia or in coastal villages such as Aberdyfi.
Yesterday Charlie Evans, Tory Senedd candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, accused Plaid of ‘resorting to the same old policies of higher taxes with yet another veiled attack on Wales’ brilliant visitor economy.’
Welsh Labour’s Joyce Watson said: ‘We recognise the concerns about the effects that large numbers of second homes can have on some of our communities and, in particular, on the long-term sustainability of our Welsh-speaking heartlands.’
She added that if Labour was returned to power it would create 20,000 social homes for rent in the next Senedd term and guarantee every young person under 25 the offer of a job, education, training or support to start a business.
Tourist leaders claim that holiday homes help to bolster local economies and provide jobs.