Tackle Second Home Tax loophole, Rhun ap Iorwerth once again urges Government

A much criticised holiday home tax “loophole” is costing Anglesey Council as much as £1m a year, it is claimed, and the island’s Member of the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth, has again raised this matter with Welsh Government in the hope that they will act to resolve it.

Welsh Revenue Authority figures for 2019/20 show that 36% of house sales on Anglesey were charged at the higher rates of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) – with the majority thought to be second homes and buy-to-lets. In 2017, the council became one of the first to introduce a second home levy, with some of the 25% premium helping first-time buyers up the housing ladder.

It was later increased to 35% to capitalise on the island’s popularity as a second home destination – second only to Gwynedd which charges a 50% premium. But according to the island’s MS, a tax “loophole” is costing the council as much as £1m a year

In the Senedd this week, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS once again raised his concerns regarding this matter with Welsh Government:

“There has been significant strengthening within communities in Wales in the feeling, such as in my constituency, where there is a high percentage of second homes and holiday homes, that steps do need to be taken to prevent the loss of further housing stock to those purchasing second homes.

“Plaid Cymru announced a series of steps to tackle this over the past few days, including changes to planning regulations, capping the number of second homes within any community, making it a requirement to have planning consent to turning a main residence into a second home, and so on.

“We recommend raising council tax for second homes, certainly to close the loopholes that have allowed some to opt out of paying council tax entirely. I appeal to the Government once again here to tackle that issue.”