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Janet Finch-Saunders MS on Welsh Labour's second homes announcement

Updated: Jul 7

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change (responsible for housing), Janet Finch- Saunders MS said:

"Yet again the Welsh Government has chosen to make announcements to the press before the Senedd. The Minister claims that she wants all parties to get involved, but it is S4C I have to thank for doing what Welsh Ministers are failing to do: respect our Welsh Parliament. “There is no denying that the continuing rise of house prices mean people, especially younger generations, can no longer afford to live in the communities they have grown up in. However, the Minister has made a grave error by linking this to second homes. “The report by Dr Simon Brooks made important points, including that there is little evidence that second homes are the main cause of high house prices as opposed to buyers moving to reside there permanently. “It is clear that in many communities in North and West Wales local people are unable to compete in the housing market against buyers from outside the community, so if this Senedd is truly committed to cooperating cross-party on the housing crisis, I ask that the Minister agree to restore the Right-to-Buy in those crisis communities in Wales, reinvesting sale proceeds into more social housing and protecting homes from sale for 10 years. “My crisis communities Right-to-Buy solution would be of huge benefit to areas like Abersoch and Aberdaron which have an income to house price affordability ratio of 10.7:1. “Similarly, the Minister needs to reconsider the proposed statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation. As she knows well, holiday lets that are registered for business rates have to meet strict criteria to qualify, so I struggle to see what the new scheme would achieve other than bureaucracy that absorbs taxpayers’ money. “The Minister should also address the fact that any increase to land transaction tax could create a crisis for the rental sector, which would be a disaster for communities like Bangor and Caernarfon; and that the trialling of the pilot in a specific location could simply displace the problem to other areas. “The crisis communities Right-to-Buy solution I am proposing would empower local people now and in future to have a home in their local area. It is an exciting policy which deserves a chance”.

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