New £560 million tax on holiday homes under Labour plans to tackle inequality

Owners of holiday homes could face a new £560 million tax under Labour plans to help bridge the divide between the “haves and have-nots”.

The new levy being set out on Sunday will tackle homelessness and address rising wealth inequality, the party said.

Under the plans, second properties in England used as holiday homes would be subject to an average tax bill of over £3,200.

The sum will be based on the value of the property and equivalent to double the current rate of council tax.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said: “Britain’s rapidly rising homelessness shames us all.

“It is unforgivable that under the Tories, the number of children stuck growing up in hostels and B&Bs has skyrocketed.

“Over the last eight years, the Government has turned its back on the scandal of poor housing and homelessness. A housing market that works for the many needs government action to ensure everyone has a place to call home.

“As part of the next Labour government’s plan to rebuild Britain, we will introduce a levy on second homes used as holiday homes to help homeless families. Labour will act to put a brake on the growing gap between Britain’s housing ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.”

The money raised from the new levy would be earmarked for councils across the country to help homeless families with children living in temporary accommodation.

Labour highlighted figures showing that there are over 120,000 children homeless in this sort of emergency housing – up two thirds since 2010.

Up to 174,000 properties could be subject to the tax, with many in popular tourist destinations like Cornwall, North Norfolk and South Lakeland as well as urban areas such as Kensington and Chelsea in west London.

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