High house prices are good for the old and terrible for the young. The Reform Party wants to get the price of houses back to historic norms which is three times average salary for a 30 year old working couple. This ambition is un-quantified, un-calculated but is a benchmark to persue. The flip side to this discussion is we cannot continue to keep overlaying thousands of houses into towns that simply cannot take any additional people, cars, train passengers or which overloads the electricity, water, gas and social networks like your schools, GP’s or an already overstretched NHS hospital.
This discussion only covers how we intend to release housing stock. The flip side of how we control endless house building to the detriment of the local community will be covered in the Planning pages. Uncontrolled immigration which is the greatest driver of endless house building is covered in Immigration.
We all live on a beautiful, green island. Islands by their very nature lack space, so we have to manage that space in such a way that we all benefit from comfortable, affordable housing but allow nature in all its forms (most importantly food production) to thrive. Housing in Britain is too expensive, so we have to release housing stock either for sale or for rental. The only way this can be done is to make the annual running cost of empty second and investment homes very expensive. The other way is to create Government run old age homes that are so nice that people will sell up their homes to move into these places.
Releasing unused housing.
Any house that sits unused is socially unacceptable. Every person can only be in one place at a time. Therefore second homes that are unused for 11 months of the year are an abomination. Any home bought as an investment by an overseas buyer or in a offshore tax haven wrapper is an abomination. Homes are for living. Homes must be used for shelter, laughter, joy fun and as a refuge for family life. If a home is to sit empty that means someone may be on the streets, someone who has a growing family cannot “move up”. Someone who is on a low wage cannot afford the basics of life as their rental is unaffordable. This means that the low paid and vunerable of society have to throw themselves on the mercies of the state.
To this end the policy will be as follows:
Any property bought by an overseas investor will be required to pay 10% tax on the purchase price.
Any property bought within a trust or any financial vehicle affiliated to tax evading country (Luxembourg, Jersey, Cayman Islands et al) will be required to pay 15% tax on the purchase price.
Annual Council tax charges.
Any home owned by an overseas investor or owned within a tax evading envelope will be charged £20 000 annual council tax.
Any second home which is owned by a UK tax paying resident which is untenanted for less than 11 months of the year will be charged as follows:
- For homes valued at less than £1 million – £15 000 per annum.
- For homes valued at greater than £1 million – £25 000 per annum.
For any third or greater number of homes owned by a UK tax payer which go untenanted there will be a flat rate council tax charge of £30 000 per annum.
Normal council tax will on be charged on “investment” homes which are tenanted for a minimum of 11 months of the year. An exemption will only be granted when a tenant produces a lease, a bank statement, a set of utility bills at the start of the annual council tax year and at the end of the council tax year to prove 100% occupancy of the home.
Releasing Housing Stock via relocation
- The Reform Party will provide a sliding tax scale across the UK that will allow population and business redistribution. The idea is to relocate businesses out of the SE and Midlands northwards into low tax zones. This is about the movement of people – the idea is to create vibrant businesses in the northern regions thus reducing housing shortages with high prices.A reduction of congestion is also to be expected.
- London and the South East will continue to pay the current personal and corporation tax with the addition of a 60% top rate of tax on any salary over £500 000.
- Midlands: Birmingham northwards to Scottish border. The 60% top rate is eliminated.
- Northern Ireland and Scotland: There will be no Eliminaton of
- tfouvybiuphn An assessment of A lower corporation tax rate
Controlling unbridled house building
- Many beautiful towns and cities have now been ruined by massive housing development, particularly in the SE. The rule will be that local planners will have zero house build targets. And any development over five houses must be put to the local parish for approval. If more than 60 % of the registered voters in that parish vote against the development then it cannot go ahead. Stealth house building by developers will be prevented (5 at a time) by not allowing any additional development on that patch of land for a period of 10 years.
- If development is to take place in the SE it will be on a town scale, with appropriate infrastructure created by the developer, government and compensation paid to local people affected so they can leave their homes or stay put with a decent pot of money.