I am not sure that I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. The problem with many second homes is that they are very expensive. What worries me that, certainly in my area, people would go abroad for holidays. They might even buy a villa in Spain, which really would be cheap, and the whole tourism industry would be affected.
In many respects, the current tax treatment of second homes and statics is, by chance, similar. The former pay stamp duty, while the later pay VAT on movable items only. To change that balance would unfairly penalise this group of people. Many of them cannot afford a second home, yet they are similar to second-home owners in so many ways. Such a move would be regressive in taxation terms.
In summary, I believe that the impact of this proposal will be far greater than HMRC’s assessment implies. It will have a significant negative effect on the economy and on jobs in specific locations around the country, including my constituency. Further, I question whether the anomaly it is intended to address actually exists. I therefore urge the Government to think again, and to allow a vital industry to continue to play a key role in securing the economic recovery.