Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, has called for an update on Government progress to close the loophole that allows some second home owners to register their second home for business rates and then benefit from small business rates relief, even if they are not primarily using their property as a business, thereby avoiding paying any rates at all.
This has been particularly highlighted recent because Cornwall Council has paid COVID-19 business support grants to some 2nd home owners due to them being registered for business rates.
Speaking in Parliament today, Steve asked the Leader of the House of Commons for an update on this issue, with the Leader of the House confirming a consultation has been carried out with results due to be issued.
Speaking after the debate, Steve said:
“This has been an issue that has been of concern to me for some time. I originally raised it with the-then Local Government Minister, now Chancellor Rishi Sunak in 2018 and a review was promised at the time.”
“Although it has been frustrating to see the slow progress on addressing this issue, it is understandable due to the General Election, Brexit legislation and the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am pleased to see in response to my further question on this today, that the Government has made progress and will be releasing its response to the consultation soon.”
“I look forward to seeing the response and closing this loophole to ensure everyone pays what they should and that taxpayers do not unfairly foot the bill for business premises as we have sadly seen many times in Cornwall.”