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Radio 4 Poll Tax - The Reunion

David Magor chief executive of the IRRV takes part in the Radio 4 Programme the Reunion. The programme hosted by Sue MacGregor reunites the architects and opponents of the Poll Tax.

Use this link below to hear the programme again on the BBC iplayer.


David Magor speaks on Radio 4 Money Box Programme

Concessions on empty homes and second homes are being removed in England. A million home owners who do not live full time in their property could see their council tax rocket in April, as most automatic discounts are to end. The change, which will affect second homes and empty properties in England, could see bills for 2013-14 rise by 200%.

Previously, such properties had benefited from a 50% discount.

The new rules give councils more freedom to raise money locally and bring empty homes into use.

Councils do not have to increase taxes on second homes and empty property. But the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) says early evidence suggests most of them are doing so.

Speaking on Radio 4's Money Box programme IRRV chief executive David Magor said financial need was forcing them to take advantage of the new rules.

"The government is trying to get a greater yield from council tax to keep the overall level down. And it is trying to encourage the occupation of empty homes.

"But sitting behind this is the funding of the council tax reduction scheme. Councils have had to adopt these provisions to find the money to finance those schemes."

Listen to the programme on BBC catch up by clicking here