Latest Public Sector News


Second home owners’ discounts could be cut

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants councils to have more flexibility over council tax discounts for second home owners, allowing them to further reduce the discounts if they prefer.

If councils cut the discounts offered to second home owners, this could reduce the typical band D tax bill paid by everyone else.

Pickles said: “By removing the subsidised tax breaks for empty homes and second homes, we can cut £20 a year off families’ council tax bills.

“Councils should make it easier to pay bills, and offer the same discounts for electronic billing that other companies offer as standard – this will cut paperwork and help reduce tax bills.”

Out of 328 local authorities, 205 currently offer discounts of 10% and 88 offer 50% to second home owners, while the rest reduce the levy somewhere between the two.

Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the LGA, said: “Local authorities believe in greater local decision making and flexibility over taxation, including council tax. Any new way to achieve this, such as the plans over second homes and empty homes, is a positive step.

“However, councils have already been given a 10% cut in council tax benefit – leaving them out of pocket – so passing on any savings to local people will be difficult.

“Any decisions on this, or any other proposal on paying council tax in installments, should be made locally by individual local authorities.”

The proposals would not take effect for two years, and will now undergo consultation.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest c... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-... more >


Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this ye... 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 >