SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has denounced reforms to improve housing issues caused as a result of second home ownership, as laid out in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday afternoon.

Prince Charles has outlined the government's priorities for the year ahead after filling in for the Queen at the official ceremony to reopen parliament. 

During the speech, Prince Charles said that new council tax rules for second and empty homes will be introduced as part of the UK government’s levelling scheme.

The new rules mean that local authorities have the power to double council tax bills for second homes. 

Speaking to the House, Mr Farron stated that the Government’s proposed reforms to tackle second home ownership is not comprehensive and will leave communities hollow as people are unable to stay here and raise a family.

Whilst Mr Farron acknowledged the plans to double council tax on second homes, he argued that it leaves loopholes for those buying properties as an investment and used as such purposes for holiday homes - as well as questioning their affordability.

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"It means that the small business will pay no council tax and no business rates either, and that people in Kendal, Penrith, Appleby and Ambleside who are going to food banks are subsidising wealthy people with second, third and fourth homes."

The MP also discussed the issue of 'planning for affordable homes' and the reality that the homes are not, in fact, affordable. 

"We talk about building more houses, but the problem in areas such as mine is that while those who build houses will sell them, we are building for demand and not for need, and it is time to build for need.

"Earlier today, I was talking to some of my local councillors - Jenny Boak, Pete Endsor and Sue Sanderson, who represent Grange & Cartmel. Just outside Cartmel, in Haggs Lane, 39 properties are to be built, only eight of them affordable.

"Why? Because the Government do not give planning authorities the power to say to developers, ‘Get knotted unless you are going to build for local people and families and make those places affordable'.

"So I am angry, not just on behalf of my community but on behalf of communities across rural areas of our great country, that there is so little, if anything at all, for us in this Queen’s Speech.

"I am deeply concerned about the proposals contained in the Queen’s speech.

"To me, it appears to be all style and no substance with no attention to the calls for detail that has been put to the Government when discussing these issues time and time again," he said. 

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