PEMBROKESHIRE has over 2,800 second homes or holiday homes; that's the second-highest in Wales, Gwynedd has over 5,600.

All of these homes are liable for council tax, in fact, Pembrokeshire County Council has resolved to charge a 50 per cent premium in addition to the standard rate of council tax for these properties, the idea being that the extra tax raised will be spent on the much-needed affordable and social housing for locals that will help stem the decline of communities.

However, there is a loophole, second-home owners can now register as a small business, thus avoid paying any tax at all and receive full business relief.

It seems that the problem lies with section 66 of the Local Government Housing Act of 1988.

At the moment the second-home owner can avoid contributing to the community if they let their property out for a very short period during the financial year.

By taking up this offer it is believed that over one-fifth of second-home owners are abusing this system, resulting in them not paying any council tax.

Without a doubt this figure will continue to grow, the outcome being less money going to help our local communities.

We've already witnessed the demise of our villages in Pembrokeshire, due to the lack of affordable housing for locals, we don’t need to encourage yet more second/holiday homes by allowing this scam to continue unchecked.

Gwlad Gwlad, Wales’ new pro-independence party, is campaigning that this atrocious glitch in the system, that benefits the wealthy rather than helping the deprived, should be urgently addressed by the Welsh Government before our communities perish.


Gwlad Gwlad,