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Labour candidate on the warpath over the ‘landlord loophole’

A Labour candidate hoping to become the MP in a popular tourist area is on the warpath over what she calls a “tax loophole” for private landlords.

Alison Hume, who is standing for Labour in the next general election at Whitby and Scarborough, has told the Northern Echo: “Currently, there is a loophole for second homeowners to avoid paying the council tax by simply changing their residence to a business and then letting out the property for a couple of weeks a year via schemes like Airbnb. 

“This is really hitting coastal areas like Whitby and Scarborough hard. Also, local authority funding is likely to be under increased pressure with the introduction of the new North Yorkshire Council at the beginning of April which makes it even more important to stop landlords exploiting the system.”


Councillors on the local North Yorkshire authority have already voted to double council tax on second home owners when legislation is passed allowing them to do so, and in June last year a referendum - which attracted just a 23 per cent turnout - voted to ban new build homes being purchased by landlords or holiday homers.

Hume tells the Northern Echo: “House prices in Whitby have now topped £250,000, pricing many first-time buyers and local people out of the Whitby and district market. This will have a devastating impact on social and economic development, forcing young families to move away putting pressure on the labour market.”

She wants short let landlords to be mandated to have a licence to operate, and be subject to the same health and safety regulations already applying to long term lets.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for nearby York, is attempting to pilot a Bill through the House of Commons calling for the Scottish Government’s short let licensing model to be extended across England, enabling local authorities to set up control zones to limit the expansion of holiday lets where housing is under pressure.

The measure would also give councils new powers to close down short lets that are causing a repeated nuisance to local residents, and returning these homes to mainstream residential use.

Maskell says her initiatives - which differs from that suggested by the UK government last year - is backed by numerous other MPs who want to protect rural, coastal and urban communities with a common concern about ”villages hollowed out by holiday let investors and second home-owners, and urban streets that are now party streets.”

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    Too many on Benefit that’s why they are short of funding, can’t keep hitting landlords forever when we small landlords don’t exist anymore who are you going to hit. Big Coporate Companies are not going to be paying big taxes like us and they are charging double our rent and exempt & can use Assured Shorthold Tenancies so they can decide the length of Tenancy a right now being
    taken from us, it’s total Discrimination by law against individual landlords.

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    All too easy to claim benefits. Too many idle people. Hence they go running around trying to charge for anything they can.


    Today Mr *unt is going to try to get older retired people back to work, how about getting the young workshy scroungers into work, reduce UC


    Exactly Andrew! Becasue the older generation are more responsible and hard working with decent ethics. They stopped due to a number of reasons. These people could be tempted back. But the lazy workshy have been bought up to think they are ENTITLED TO BENEFITS. So they just log in and claim.

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    Replace cash benefits with food vouchers and watch the job vacancies being taken up!

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    Or withdraw all support. Bring back the workhouses where people had to go if they could not find work elsewhere.


    Too expensive to build- soup kitchens where they hand over the food vouchers are more cost effective.

    Such vouchers could be earned by litter picking or by doing menial jobs for those working and paying tax.

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    Trying to get older workers back to work is problematic for various reasons:
    Pension issues, overly high tax rates and lack of need to work for the highly skilled, highly qualified early retirees.
    Health issues, caring commitments and lack of employer engagement for the lesser skilled over 50s who are currently looking for suitable part time jobs to fit around whatever else their life consists of.

    For the younger "workshy" element it's more tricky for employers. How many long term unemployed are actually employable? How many have drug or alcohol issues that would be a nightmare for any employer. How many are unemployed because they live in areas where there simply are no jobs? It would take huge resources to make them work ready and even then the likelihood is that employers would be resistant.

    For all of the above employers need to be onboard with whatever the government is attempting. They need to offer a variety of contracts, not just full time and they need to understand people work for different reasons and for some work isn't their number one priority.

    The easiest way to get more productivity would be to raise the tax thresholds and remove the cliff edges. How many construction workers, lorry drivers, etc stop working just below £50K so they don't loose their Child Benefit? How many professionals stop just before £100K so they don't loose personal allowance and pay 60% tax? Surely incentivising those who are already skilled and productive to work to their full capacity would be far more realistic than tinkering around the edges. 40% tax should be more than enough to take from anyone's earnings.


    Areas where there are no jobs still have litter to be picked up, weeds to be pulled from grass verges etc.


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