Adam Afriyie backs borough's council tax proposals
WINDSOR MP Adam Afriyie has backed plans to reduce council tax discounts on empty homes in the Royal Borough.
The council is having to come to terms with a potential £1m funding gap after the Coalition Government decided to localise the management and financing of council tax discounts.
Finance and planning officers in the Royal Borough are aiming to make up more than half the £1m by replacing council tax exemption for empty homes with a 50% discount and introducing a 50% premium on the 354 properties which have been empty for more than two years.
Mr Afriyie said: "Empty homes are a problem and sensible local measures that help to bring them into use are to be welcomed.
"Spending on council tax benefit doubled under the last Government. The move to localise council tax support is to help create local jobs and reduce the taxes of hard-working taxpayers across the Borough."
The Government announced plans on Monday to support ten councils in renegotiating expensive developer contribution agreements as part of house building projects which were permitted before April 2010, but have since stalled because of the recession.
The areas set to receive the support include Leeds, Swindon and Gloucester, but the Royal Borough is not one of them.
The Government estimates there are more than 1,400 housing schemes of more than 10 housing units around the country which have planning permission, but are unable to proceed because of expensive funding agreements.
This article appeared in Royal Borough Observer 14 Aug 12