If a person decides to own their home outright and then retire, they shouldn't be forced to pay very high rates to keep it. They've bought it, they own it, they pay council rates to cover services. It is when people INVEST in houses tax-free that we run into problems of malinvestment. Therefore, any rates or extra taxes should be applied to trusts, businesses, or any other legal entity which own property (other than a single family home). These could be identified as BUSINESS assets, and taxed according to your policy, if you so wish. An individual should be entitled to own one property without any sort of extra tax attached. Mortgage interest should be consistently treated as a tax write-off - either for everyone (PAYE/self employed) or for no-one. There should be an incentive to build new houses, not buy up old ones - perhaps only mortgage interest on new builds could be eligible to be written off? That would encourage people to abandon the current stock that they own a small portion of, and invest their money in building new to get a tax advantage.
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