COUNCILLORS have called the capping of using second and holiday home council tax premium for a housing programme to get young residents homes in Ceredigion “disappointing,”

As part of the 2024/25 budget, Ceredigion council will keep an initial plan to put the first 25 per cent of a soon to be 100 per cent council tax premium on second homes towards a council flagship project to back young people in efforts to get on to the property ladder.

The widely acclaimed scheme, which will help with mortgage payments and deposits in a bid to tackle a housing crisis in the county caused by rising house prices and stagnant wages, has already a budget of £1.8m.

The budget, instead of putting all 25 per cent in the pot, will cap the amount put into the scheme of £2m.

The remaining 75 per cent from the second home premium will be used to prop up this year’s general budget.

Cllr Gareth Lloyd told members at a full council meeting on 29 February: “I hoped we could safeguard the 25 per cent premium for housing.

“It is a difficult situation for housing in Ceredigion. “

Cllr Rhodri Evans said he was “disappointed” by the introduction of a cap.

“The second home premium should be used for help young people to live and remain in Ceredigion.

“What happens if this £2m cap is reached?

“We should be doing all we can to help young people.

“That is why this plan was made.”

Members heard that scrutiny committees recommended to not put a cap on the money, but Cabinet proposals included the £2m cap outlined in the budget.

Finance member Cllr Gareth Davies said: “There is no purpose in keeping too much money in that pot.

“We did consider having no cap, but then the council tax would have to be increased significantly higher.

“We would have to increase the council tax by another 3.8 per cent which would have not been supported.”

Former leader Cllr Keith Evans said: “It is disappointing to see us using that money to balance the budget instead of helping young people on to the property ladder.”

A majority of councillors backed the cap, with seven members voting against.