HC Deb 04 December 1974 vol 882 c1539
10. Mr. Beith

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will introduce proposals designed to ensure that no ratepayer is entitled to domestic rate relief in respect of more than one home.

Mr. John Silkin

I have no plans to do so, but I will examine the proposal.

Mr. Beith

I am grateful for the right hon. Gentleman's willingness to examine the question. Does he not agree that in areas where the second home explosion is creating ghost villages it is seen as very unsatisfactory that public money should be used not to subsidise ordinary householders but to help pay for people's holidays, and that this development would be a logical consequence of withdrawal of other aid from second or holiday homes?

Mr. Silkin

I understand the hon. Gentleman's point. My difficulty is that nothing could be done at the moment, administratively. This is a matter for legislation, and the House will appreciate that such a matter requires considerable care. But I shall examine the proposal.

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