Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C


Lords back Suffolk campaign to close loophole which helps second home owners avoid tax

PUBLISHED: 17:31 21 June 2018

David Beavan has been campaigning to close the second home tax loophole  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

David Beavan has been campaigning to close the second home tax loophole Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


A Suffolk campaign to close a loophole allowing second home owners to avoid paying tax on their property has won support in the House of Lords.

Lord Deben backed calls to close the loophole Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLord Deben backed calls to close the loophole Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

During a debate on Wednesday, peers in the Upper House heard how in campaigners in Southwold found the current system cost the council around £500,000 a year.

Earlier this year, Southwold’s Liberal Democrats claimed growing numbers of second-home owners were registering properties as holiday-lets and claiming small business rate relief. To qualify as a holiday let properties must only be “available to let” for 140 days a year – which could mean as little as a window advert. And as long as the property’s rateable value is less than £12,000, owners can get 100% business rate relief - meaning they pay no tax on it.

Lord Shipley, who raised the subject on behalf of the campaigners, called for the system to be brought in line with Wales, where it is a requirement that any house designated as a business, rather than being liable for council tax, must be let for a minimum of 70 days.

Lord Deben, who was Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer, supported those calls.

Many homes in Southwold are second homes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMany homes in Southwold are second homes Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

As a second home owner himself, he said that while there were circumstances where people had to work in one place and live in another, the situation in Suffolk’s coastal communities had changed. He said Southwold, Aldeburgh and other villages had “very largely become a place of second homes”. “It is a real problem for community cohesion,” he added.

“I do not support the idea that people can avoid their proper contribution to the community by using what has elegantly been referred to as a loophole. It is worse than that, because they are telling a direct lie.”

Several other peers also backed the proposals.

Southwold Liberal Democrat campaigner, David Beavan, said he was elated with the debate.

“It just shows that ordinary people can change things, and that the rich and powerful can be brought to book, he added.

“We will keep collecting signatures and keep the pressure up until the law is changed.”

The campaigners’ online petition has more than 700 signatures. Canvassers are also are going door to door in Southwold and Reydon, where they have collected 250 signatures in one week.

Over the Christmas and New Year period we all struggle to keep a lid on our waste - the food bin groans under the weight of turkey carcasses and our blue recycling bulges with empty boxes from trikes and new games consoles so the last thing you want is to miss your rubbish collection.

An Ipswich mother has called for measures to slow drivers at a busy junction after her son almost died in a collision there.

Suffolk police seized a higher volume of crack cocaine than any force outside the Met last year, according to new figures.

An Ipswich man who sexually assaulted a schoolgirl has been jailed for four months.

With Christmas around the corner, Suffolk has retail temp jobs a plenty - but which jobs in other sectors are getting increasingly tough to fill?

A special fire service vehicle is taking to the streets of Suffolk highlighting the range of work and opportunities within the service.

Clouds will be few and far between today as the sun shows its face over Suffolk.

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

The sea wall of an island off the coast of Suffolk is being lowered by almost half a metre to prevent it flooding in stormy weather.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24