Plan to remove 'granny flat' council tax
Published: 2nd Jun 2012 03:18:03
Up to 300,000 families in England could benefit from plans to scrap council tax for so-called granny flats.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says it is "fundamentally unfair" to charge people twice for their own home and the annexe for a live-in elderly relative.
He also believes the move could ease the pressure on the supply of housing.
Currently, annexes are usually treated as distinct dwellings if they have a separate kitchen, bathroom and place to sleep. They do not need a front door.
Local authorities typically charge more than £1,000 a year for full rates of council tax.
But some discounts are available if only one person lives in the annexe.
Mr Pickles told the Daily Telegraph: "We are keen to remove tax and other regulatory obstacles to families having a live-in annexe for immediate relations.
"We should support homeowners who want to improve their properties and standard of living.
"These reforms should also play a role in increasing the housing supply."
Ministers are also considering changing planning laws to make it easier to convert garages into living spaces for the elderly.
Officials are concerned that too many garage conversions are refused planning approval by local councils.
The changes are likely to require legislation, but government sources are unable to say how quickly they could be brought it.
BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said the "substantial loss" in revenue for local authorities was a "thorny issue" and Whitehall sources would not commit central government to making up the difference.
"This is likely to be a popular idea, aimed at demonstrating the government's claim that it's on the side of hard working families," our correspondent said.
Earlier this month, MPs said it should be easier for people to build their own homes in England to help the housing crisis.
A Commons communities select committee report suggested local authorities must get a greater say on housing projects, while pension funds and other investment funds should be encouraged to invest in building new homes.
The report said 230,000 households were forming each year, but in 2011 only 110,000 new homes were built.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Plan to remove 'granny flat' council tax. [Online] (Updated 02 Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1432415-Plan-to-remove-granny-flat-council-tax [Accessed 25th May 2013]
At 08:18:22 in BusinessThe information commissioner is seeking answers from a company that has reactivated its former customers' old direct debits without the...
At 06:46:26 in OtherTwo men are being questioned on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft after RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to escort a passenger plane o...
At 15:35:09 in OtherTwo men have been arrested after RAF Typhoon jets were launched to escort a passenger plane travelling from Pakistan to the UK, police have ...
At 14:42:41 in OtherA 31-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years for raping and robbing a woman at her home in Greater Manchester on New Year's Eve....
At 11:23:33 in OtherTwo prison vans transporting defendants to the Dale Cregan trial have been involved in a collision in Lancashire. ...
At 11:12:41 in OtherA doctor from Greater Manchester has been jailed for 18 years after being convicted of 13 child sex offences....
At 11:05:17 in OtherThe BBC is to abandon a £98m digital production system, after BBC chief Tony Hall said it had "wasted a huge amount of licence fee paye...
At 10:15:45 in OtherA prayer service for Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier killed by two assailants in south-east London on Wednesday, has taken place in Greater M...
At 09:32:02 in OtherA 16-year-old who died after suffering breathing difficulties had an ecstasy-like drug in her system, police said....
At 07:50:57 in OtherPreventing the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks would have been "incredibly hard", an ex-senior intelligence...
News In Other Categories
Forty-five years after he took his own life, comedian Tony Hancock is still regarded as one of the pioneers of British television comedy....
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol ba...
The information commissioner is seeking answers from a company that has reactivated its former customers' old direct debits without the...
As a report says early access to extreme online pornography can leave children with a distorted view of sex, one woman talks candidly and ex...
The reason we struggle to recall memories from our early childhood is down to high levels of neuron production during the first years of lif...
On 25 May, it will be five years since Nasa's robotic spacecraft Phoenix touched down in the Martian "arctic". Here, Dr Tom P...