Council tax levy to tackle empty homes in Scotland

Councils in Scotland are to receive new powers to tax empty homes that could help raise millions to build new affordable houses.

The Council Tax on Empty Homes and Housing Support Grant Bill proposals could apply to the 25,000 properties that have currently been empty for more than six months and are liable to pay council tax.

If all local authorities decide to use the maximum powers, they could raise up to £30 million per year to spend on much-needed affordable homes in Scotland.

The bill will also abolish the Housing Support Grant, which was originally established to subsidise local authorities' housing budgets by helping pay interest on housing debts.