Labour’s Budget Move Supports ‘Hard-pressed Plymothians’

Plymouth Labour says its proposal to double council tax on second homes and use the money raised to build new homes and support those struggling with the cost of living crisis shows it is the party “on the side of hard-pressed Plymothians”. 

The city’s Labour councillors passed an amendment to the Conservative budget at the annual Budget meeting on Monday 27 February and the proposal to adopt a 100% Council Tax Second Homes Premium was one of a raft of measures the group were successful in adding to the final Budget plan.

The money raised will be used to accelerate building of new homes in the city and also provide a discretionary local payment of up to £25 per eligible working-age household who are in work and also in receipt of Universal Credit.

In May 2022, the Government published the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill in May 2022 which included proposals aimed at addressing the negative impact of second homes on the supply of homes available to meet local housing need. 

The Bill proposes that councils will be allowed to introduce a Council Tax premium of up to 100% in respect of second homes, meaning second home owners would pay double the amount of council tax for having a second home in Plymouth.

The amendment included a range of other initiatives including:

  • A review of extending library opening times
  • Double the budget for the city’s wildflower meadows
  • Plans to widen access to domestic abuse services
  • 10 extra CCTV cameras to tackle areas where anti-social behaviour is an issue
  • A £2m Green investment fund
  • Help for communities who wish to celebrate the Coronation
  • Create a ringfenced pothole fund

Read the full amendment below:

Plymouth Labour Amendment to the 23-24 Budget – Download

Councillor Mark Lowry, Plymouth Labour’s Finance spokesperson, said: “Plymouth Labour knocks on doors in the city all year round and we have listened to what our residents are telling us and crafted our amendment around that, our work on this clearly demonstrates we are the party of hard-pressed Plymothians.

“We know most people can’t afford to buy a house in Plymouth and now they can’t even afford to rent somewhere so something has to change.

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“The discretionary payment will support those who will see their council tax go up as well as all the other cost of living implications they are having to deal with.

“Taxing those who already have more than one home will accelerate house building in the city, which we sorely need. Builders only started building 162 new properties last year, that is nowhere near enough when we have 11,000 households on the waiting list.

“We have a Conservative-created housing crisis in the city, our carefully crafted, fully-costed and approved amendment shows that only Labour has a plan to fix it.”