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LIB DEMS ADVOCATE PUNITIVE COUNCIL TAX ON EMPTY HOMES

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Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Diana Maddock has questioned the way government promotes incentive schemes to...
Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Diana Maddock has questioned the way government promotes incentive schemes to encourage social housing tenants to buy their own home.

Addressing Liberal Democrat conference delegates at a Chartered Institute of Housing fringe meeting last night, Ms Maddock defended her party's proposal to abolish tenants' incentive schemes which give tenants a discount if they buy a home and thereby free a property for use by local homeless households.

She said 'We already have a real problem of people on the lowest incomes being concentrated together. The tenants' incentive scheme is seen as enabling them to get out as quickly as they can.

'Really we ought to have a strategy for social housing, rather than these pots of money which the government gives out, and which mean we do not have a balanced policy.'

Ms Maddock also said Liberal Democrats would support the levying of punitive council tax on long-term empty properties, adding that extending the policy to second homes had also been considered. However, Ms Maddock added: 'I don't know whether we can be that radically yet.'
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