Furnished Holiday Lettings: Taxation Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: HM Treasury

Furnished Holiday Lettings: Taxation

Christine Jardine Excerpts
Wednesday 1st May 2024

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Westminster Hall
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts

Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that point, which he made particularly well. Hopefully, it will also come out as I move forward in my speech.

In the first instance, it is necessary for me to set out what I would describe as a few home truths and to set the record straight. First, it is important to point out that the FHL regime is not a tax loophole; it was introduced in 1984 specifically to cater for the fact that a holiday let business is very different from a private rental business. Forty years on, that remains the case, and it should be pointed out that strict criteria are in place if people wish to move into the regime.

Secondly, it should be emphasised that furnished holiday lettings are a long-standing economic lifeline for many coastal and rural areas.

Christine Jardine Portrait Christine Jardine (Edinburgh West) (LD)
- Hansard - -

The hon. Member is making a lot of very good points, specifically about these lets being a lifeline for areas. I was recently visited by representatives of the furnished holiday lets association in Scotland, who feel that they have been hit by a double whammy: this legislation and the short-term let licensing legislation in Scotland. Should there not have been a joined-up approach? Would it not have been better for the Government to speak to the devolved Administration and find a way forward for the whole industry, rather than hamper one of Scotland’s biggest and most profitable sectors?

Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think the hon. Lady has hit on the way forward. The solution to this problem—if indeed there is a problem—needs to be sorted out locally, in consultation with the devolved Assemblies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and with local authorities elsewhere in the UK.