Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson in second homes tax rise call
North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson is calling for a higher rate of council tax for second home owners.
The Liberal Democrat MP said he wanted to discourage people from having second homes which were left empty for most of the year.
Around England and Wales, Cornwall was the local authority area where the greatest number of people recorded a second address, the 2011 Census showed.
Tourism chiefs said well-used second homes brought money into the economy.'Hits economy'
Mr Rogerson said: "You go to coastal villages, some of the towns as well, and you see huge swathes of places with no lights on at night.
"That really hits the local economy. People might spend quite a bit of money when they're there for a few weeks a year.
"But if those houses were occupied it would help the local pub and shop."
Malcolm Bell of Visit Cornwall said: "You can have a second home which is rented out for 40 weeks a year, providing revenue for the local shop, the local pub and local builder.
"On the other end of the spectrum you might have a second home which is only used two weekends a year.
"If you doubled council tax it would not necessarily stop people buying a second home. So we have to think this through a bit more."
Simon Tregoning of Classic Cottages said: "If you switched second homes to local housing you are undermining a critical part of the local economy."