§ Brian Cotter
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made regarding the consultation on the Government's proposals to give local authorities the discretion to reduce the 50 per cent. council tax discount for second homes and long-term empty homes. 
§ Mr. Leslie
The Government issued "Council Tax: A consultation paper on proposed changes for second homes and long term empty homes" last November. The deadline for responses was 15 February. We are currently considering responses and intend to announce the way forward shortly.