Search

Ed Miliband adopts Camden’s flagship tax on ‘ghost homes’ as Labour policy

17:00 07 May 2014

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband on the local and European elections trail. Picture: PA/Benjamin Wright

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband on the local and European elections trail. Picture: PA/Benjamin Wright

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour leader Ed Miliband has adopted a flagship Camden policy to tax the owners of “ghost homes” for the party’s national election campaign.

Camden Labour introduced a 150 per cent council tax levy on empty properties in 2012 in an attempt to bring some of the borough’s one in 16 vacant homes back into use. As he launched Labour’s London campaign for the May 22 local and European elections on Tuesday, Mr Miliband revealed plans for new laws under Labour. These would hit rich home 
owners who leave some 60,000 properties standing empty in the capital.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, Camden cabinet member for finance, said: “We’ve been asking Ed and the Labour leadership about this for some months. We think it’s a policy that really works as part of a regime of other measures including house building and protection for private tenants who rent.

“We think together they’ll form the basis of a decent housing policy for local people.

“At the moment the housing market is out of control and we can’t leave things totally to the market, otherwise people will just continue to be priced out of Camden.”

He added: “Something has got to be done to help private tenants and people getting on the housing ladder.”

Since the change Camden Labour say the number of empty furnished properties in the borough has gone down by 35 per cent.

After witnessing its success, the local party lobbied the Labour leadership to adopt the levy – calling for tougher safeguards to ensure the system is not being abused by owners who “put a few sticks of furniture into properties” to dodge the tax and for powers to increase the levy to 200 per cent after one year.

Camden Labour say that together with its election pledge to build 6,000 new homes, the policy will help tackle the borough’s housing crisis.

On Tuesday, Mr Miliband pledged that Labour would take action by doubling council tax for flats that lie empty and banning developers from marketing to foreigners before Londoners have the chance to buy new homes.

“We’ve got to stop this phenomenon of empty properties being bought by overseas investors and nothing is done about it,” he told the London Evening Standard.

“The connection between the great wealth London creates and everyday family finances has been broken.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

17:30
The number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square which was blown up by a suicide bomber on 7/7. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/PA

Relatives of those who died in the July 7 bombings that brought terrorism to the streets of Camden will be returning to the borough tomorrow to mark its 10-year anniversary.

17:15
7/7 survivor Gill Hicks hugs Camden PC Andy Maxwell, who came to her aid when she was injured at Kings Cross Station in London nearly 10 years ago. Picture: PA Wire

This is the touching moment a 7/7 bombing survivor was today reunited with the Camden police officer who saved her life.

16:41
Nicky Morgan with pupil with Holly Class during a science lesson. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Education secretary Nicky Morgan joined pupils in the classroom at a world-leading special school in Swiss Cottage.

15:59
Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Polly Hancock.

New Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer will sit on the prestigious home affairs select committee in parliament.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder