Council tax changes on second homes vital to tackling housing crisis

The Scottish Greens have welcomed plans to double council tax on second homes.

“Homes are for living in, not for hoarding”, say the Scottish Greens as the First Minister announces proposals for doubling council tax on second homes.

The policy will help fulfil the housing commitments set out in the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government. It follows a recent increase in the tax paid on the purchase of second and holiday homes.

Scottish Greens finance spokesperson Ross Greer MSP said:

“Homes are for living in, not for hoarding. Everyone should have access to good quality and affordable housing. Yet, all across Scotland, particularly in rural communities, there are perfectly good houses sitting empty for most of the year as holiday homes. This is at the same time as thousands of families sit on housing waiting lists and young people are forced to leave the communities they have grown up in due to a lack of affordable homes.

“These Council Tax plans sit alongside other crucial measures that we have already introduced, like the increased tax on the initial purchase of second and holiday homes. Not only will they raise vital funds to support public services during the cost of living crisis, they will collectively act as a disincentive on second home ownership and free up more homes for those who really need them.

“With this kind of bold action, we can tackle the broken housing market, make it easier for younger people in particular to buy their first home and help rural communities to thrive.”