People with vacation homes in Wales could face triple tax burdens as part of the nationalists’ plans to prevent local evictions
- Plaid Cymru wants to put a limit on vacation rentals in parts of North Wales
- The nationalists also propose a 200 percent increase in the council tax
- Every eighth property in Gwynedd County is a second home – one of the highest in Europe
- The promise was slammed by Tory councilors and senior tourism industry leaders
Welsh nationalists have proposed triple the council tax on holiday homes to prevent local populations from being evicted from the villages.
Yesterday the idea of allowing councils to introduce a premium of up to 200 percent was criticized by Tories and leading representatives of the tourism industry.
Plaid Cymru is also proposing a cap on second homes for parts of North Wales in the event it wins the Senedd elections and amending the rules to prevent them from being classified as a business.
It is said that more than a third of the homes sold in Gwynedd and Anglesey are bought as second homes.
Welsh nationalists have proposed triple the council tax for second home owners to prevent local populations from being evicted from villages in the northern counties (stock photo).
In Gwynedd, 12 percent of the housing stock is owned by people outside the county, which is among the highest proportions in Europe, making it impossible for people to buy houses in their own areas.
Delyth Jewell, Plaids shadow housing minister, said countries around the world, including New Zealand and Denmark, have taken similar measures.
She added: “We cannot go on like this. It is not fair that people who live in areas that are already deprived due to a lack of job opportunities must see their communities slowly change as locals have to move away to find a house to live in.
Delyth Jewell, Plaids shadow housing minister, said countries around the world, including New Zealand and Denmark, have taken similar measures against second home owners
“I am deeply concerned about the impact this will have on the Welsh language. It will be a stain on the nation’s conscience if the language is allowed to wither in its heartland just because the Welsh government refuses to act. ‘
Plaid-led Gwynedd Council has already doubled the council tax on its five thousand second homes, many in Snowdonia or in coastal villages like Aberdyfi.
Yesterday, Charlie Evans, Tory Senedd candidate for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, accused Plaid of “resorting to the same old policy of higher taxes in yet another veiled attack on Wales’ brilliant visitor economy”.
Welsh Labor’s Joyce Watson said: “We recognize concerns about the impact large numbers of second homes can have on some of our communities and, in particular, on the long-term sustainability of our Welsh-speaking heartland.”
She added that if Labor were to come back to power they would create 20,000 social housing for rent during Senedd’s next term and guarantee any young person under the age of 25 a job, education, training or business start-up support would.
Tourist guides claim that vacation homes help boost the local economy and create jobs.