Housing Report and Statement from Andrew George
If money for second homes went to first homes instead we’d have all but solved Cornwall’s housing problems
The Conservatives have handed more than £385 million in tax subsidies to second homers in Cornwall in the last decade. If that had been granted for the delivery of first homes for locals instead there’d be virtually no housing need.
That’s the conclusion of a report brought out today (Thursday 15th December 2022) by housing campaigner/professional Andrew George. Housing Injustice – Andrew George – 15.12.22
Mr George, who successfully campaigned to end a previous Conservative Party policy to subsidise second homes through a 50% council tax discount over 20 years ago, blew the whistle on a massive tax loophole introduced for holiday lets by the Conservatives ten years ago. This and the consequent covid aid which was delivered to those who took advantage of it since March 2020 has resulted in £385 million of taxpayers’ money given away since 2012 in Cornwall alone. Meanwhile it is estimated that less than £197 million has been granted by central government towards affordable homes for locals over the same period.
Andrew George, now a Cornwall Councillor and CEO of Cornwall CLT Ltd explained
“Just because this policy of inequality is invisible it doesn’t make it any less shocking. This is a shocking case of Robin Hood in reverse. If the thousands of local families in housing need who have lost out had been openly mugged and money stolen to hand to the wealthy to support their second home investment, there would be such an outcry and riotous protest on the streets, which any Government would have given in to by now.
“But this is an unseen and deliberately concealed injustice. Symptomatic of the quietly growing inequality in this country and which only helps to fuel a housing market which rewards property investors but penalises those who just want a decent, secure and affordable home. It should be seen in the context of the scandalous misuse of public money on PPE and the VIP lane for Tory cronies.
“This appalling situation is made worse by a planning system which is fuelled by greed rather than need and which is slavishly driven by top-down house-building targets (which please property developers and land value speculators) rather than targets to meet housing need.”