I read with sadness but no surprise the statistics on second home ownership in our town and county.

I have no issue with people buying homes to let out on long term residential tenancy. There is a need for a private residential letting sector, and it should be encouraged. However, At a time when millions of young people can not afford a home of their own due to ludicrous house prices and deposit requirements , holiday home ownership is little short of a social evil and is one of the main contributing factors to the ridiculous level of prices. Why should people be allowed, with impunity, to own holiday homes, or properties let out on AirBnB, when so many people can not afford a first home?

It is obviously not possible to prohibit this completely, but the tax measures taken by this government are wholly inadequate. Holiday home ownership should progressively be the subject of heavier taxation to discourage it. My suggestion would be a form of Annual wealth tax aimed specifically at such properties, starting at 1% a year on value and rising to 20% over time. I know this will cause howls of outrage from privileged holiday home owners, but it is a necessary step. At the next election my vote would go to any party that adopts this as policy.

Paul Cocks