The 'empty nesters'
Sir - In the Ronan Lyons column (Property, Sunday Independent, February 7) Mr Lyons poses the question: "How long is long enough to be in one property?" In the course of his dissertation, he returns to what appears to be a favourite target, namely "Empty Nesters" and the inconvenience of having older people who wish to remain in their own homes to end of life.
In the world which Mr Lyons inhabits, this would appear to be an unhealthy relationship with housing. My interpretation of the gravamen of his pronouncement appears to be that "empty nesters" remaining in their homes are the equivalent of those pejoratively referred to as "bed blockers" in the health area.
His solution appears to make the "user cost" of living in your home in your senior years prohibitively expensive by an increase in LPT of four or five times the present level. In other words, he appears to believe that tax policy should be designed to force older people (normally on fixed incomes/ pensions) out of their homes. It is a certainty that a rate of 1pc will force most older residents to "downsize".