Speaking at a meeting of Gwynedd's full Council today (3 December 2020), Deputy Leader of Plaid Cymru Gwynedd, Dafydd Meurig said the council needed to consider increasing the second and empty home premium from 50% to 100%
Councillor Dafydd Meurig said: “We have heard countless public calls from our communities for the Welsh Government to take urgent action in this area, but the response, so far, from the Labour Government has been lukewarm to say the least.
“The housing market has been in overdrive since the end of the COVID19 restrictions and we have seen a huge rise in house prices. Houses are selling without delay, often paid for with cash. It is clear that many are being bought as holiday homes or second homes.
“Some of these houses prevent young people, who were born and raised in the area, from getting their feet on to the property ladder."
“Yesterday detailed research was published by the Council's planning department to look at ways to manage short-term holiday lets through the planning system, the licensing system and, of course, tax rates.
"The report provides a sound evidence base and offers a way forward for the Welsh Labour Government to take action. With the support of a number of other councils facing the same crisis we, as Plaid Cymru, will present our recommendations to Government Ministers.
"If we had a Government with real understanding and sympathy for this serious housing situation, they should have commissioned this type of research across Wales themselves. Once more, the enlightened Scottish Government is already legislating in this area.
“At the next Gwynedd Cabinet meeting, we will consider our innovative Housing Action Plan to provide the quality homes that the people of Gwynedd really need. It is an ambitious and exciting scheme that is investing £77million and taking advantage of the second homes premium fund.
“We have strength of feeling about raising the premium, but as we are obliged to follow a statutory procedure of consulting and considering the impact of any change, I want us to come back to the Council in March with a clear recommendation.”
Plaid Cymru-led Gwynedd Council first introduced the council tax premium for second home owners back in April 2018, raising the council tax premium for owners by 50%.
Discussion on the premium will take place in Gwynedd Council's cabinet meeting on 15 December 2020.