Tax discounts set to be cut

OWNERS of holiday and empty homes in Ipswich are to be squeezed in an attempt to cut down on council tax bills next year.Ipswich council is next week set to cut the discount on second homes in the borough from 50 per cent to 10pc.

By Paul Geater

OWNERS of holiday and empty homes in Ipswich are to be squeezed in an attempt to cut down on council tax bills next year.

Ipswich council is next week set to cut the discount on second homes in the borough from 50 per cent to 10pc.

And the 50pc discount on empty homes is to be abolished altogether.

The changes will bring in an extra £405,000 in council tax across Ipswich - but only £83,000 will be kept by the borough council.

Most of the money - £287,000 - will be handed over to the county council and a further £35,000 will go to the Suffolk police authority.

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The money will be a drop in the ocean towards the overall running costs of the authorities - but it is seen as highly symbolic.

And the action against the owners of empty homes is seen as especially important - councillors and borough officials hope it will inspire more people to make empty homes available for rent.

The proposed changes are due to be debated at the full meeting of Ipswich council on Wednesday.

But it will be a major surprise if they are not accepted - local authorities across Britain, of all political composition, are taking similar action in an effort to keep the lid on council tax rises.

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Councillors in Mid Suffolk have followed the lead of their colleagues in Ipswich and voted to freeze their allowances for next year.

They took the decision because of the difficult situation faced by the council during the next financial year.

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