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Call for Suffolk's second home tax relief to be scrapped

PUBLISHED: 08:35 07 April 2011

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Archant

A HOUSING charity has called for second homeowners in Suffolk to have their council tax relief abolished.

There are currently 1,155 second homes in Waveney, compared with 2,596 in Suffolk Coastal and 386 in Mid Suffolk. All three authorities give second home owners a 10pc council discount; the maximum reduction allowed is 50pc.

Shelter is calling for the tax break to be abolished in a bid to tackle local housing pressures and deliver more affordable homes.

The idea has not been welcomed with open arms by Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal Therese Coffey who said: “I’m not asking for the change but if it happens it would not be something I’d campaign against.”

“What’s important is that we continue to do what we can to build homes and free up homes that are not being used.”

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Our housing crisis has never run deeper, with millions on waiting lists and increasing numbers of young people unable to get on the housing ladder in their local area.

“With government cuts of more than 60% to the budget for new homes, we need to explore every possible way in which existing housing stock can be used to ease our desperate shortage of affordable homes.”

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