Ariane Burgess, the Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands region has welcomed new Scottish Government plans to double council tax on second homes.
The policy will help fulfil the housing commitments set out in the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and Scottish Government.
It follows a recent increase in the tax paid on the purchase of second and holiday homes.
Both policies had been heavily lobbied for by Scottish Green MSPs.
Ariane Burgess, the Scottish Greens MSP for Highlands & Islands said:
“Homes are for living in, not for hoarding. Everyone should have access to good quality and affordable housing.
“Yet, in the Highlands & Islands there are 9,183 perfectly good houses sitting empty for most of the year.
“This is at the same time as families are stuck on housing waiting lists and young people are being forced to leave the community they have grown up in due to a lack of affordable homes.
“These Council Tax plans sit alongside other crucial measures that we have already delivered, like the increased tax on the initial purchase of second and holiday homes.
“Not only will they raise vital funds to support public services during the cost-of-living crisis, they will collectively act as a disincentive on second home ownership and free up more homes in the Highlands & Islands for those who really need them.
“With this kind of bold action, we can tackle the broken housing market, make it easier for younger people in particular to buy their first home and help communities like those in the Highlands & Islands to thrive.”