Latest Public Sector News


Councils given new taxation powers to tackle empty homes

Thousands of properties across England could be brought back into use as new legislation is introduced to allow local authorities to double the rate of council tax on empty homes.

It is hoped that the new rules, which will allow councils to levy additional charges on properties that are left empty for two years or more, will help to fix the country’s broken housing market.

As well as reducing the number of empty homes, the government revealed councils would be able to use funds for the premium to keep council tax levels down for working families.

Although the number of houses sitting empty for more than six months is significantly lower than in 2004 when records began, there are currently 200,000 long-term empty properties across England.

In 2010 there were 300,000 empty homes, but in 2013 councils were given the powers to charge a 50% premium on council tax bills, which the “vast majority” do on long-term empty homes.

Local government minister Rishi Sunak said that it is “simply wrong” that so many properties are left empty while “thousands of families are desperate for a secure place to call home.”

“This new power will equip councils with the tools they need to encourage owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use – and at the same time tackle the harmful effect they have on communities through squatting, vandalism and anti-social behaviour,” he added.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >