Justify tax discount on second homes, Greens tell Mayor

8 January 2009

Green Party councillors have called on the Mayor of Lewisham to consider scrapping a council tax discount on second homes.

Those who own more than one home currently pay full council tax on their first home but get 10% off bills for their second.

Green Party budget spokesperson Cllr Ute Michel said:

"At a time of housing shortages and when tight budgets are squeezing frontline council services, it is right to ask if we should be subsidising multiple home ownership.

"We would question why those well-off enough to own two homes should pay proportionally less towards essential services than their next-door neighbours with only one home.

"This is not about filling council coffers unreasonably, as the money raised would be under £50,000, but is about setting right an outdated imbalance."

Cllr Michel has tabled a question on the issue, which the Mayor will answer at the next full council meeting on 21 January.

It reads:

"Will the Mayor consider abolishing the 10% second homes discount as part of the Council's Council Tax setting process for 2009/10, which would generate revenue of £45k without adverse equalities implications?"

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