A higher tax for owners of second homes and empty properties on the Isle of Wight, is a step closer.

It comes after the Isle of Wight Council's cabinet threw its weight behind the government-proposed legislation last night (Thursday).

If it becomes law, it will allow local authorities to charge up to 100 per cent more council tax on second homes and buildings that have been empty for one year.

Data from the authority suggests it could make an additional £6 million from second homeowners and nearly £290,000 from empty homes.

Cabinet member for strategic finance and transformational change, Cllr Chris Jarman said more than 50 councils across the country, including Portsmouth, had made the same declaration — to implement the premiums as soon as possible.

It received unanimous support from Isle of Wight Council cabinet members.

Cllr Phil Jordan said he was mindful the proposed income from the tax would be a substantial sum of money and the Island was affected by second homes, but said a balance does have to be struck.

He said the money would allow the council to invest in affordable homes without borrowing money to help people on our housing list.

While the legislation was still being debated, Cllr Jordan said, there were areas of interpretation in the proposed legislation which needed to be addressed.

Cllr Andrew Garratt said it will get people thinking about whether it is absolutely necessary to have a second home and there is a vibrant network of holiday accommodation on the Island.

It was not just about second homes, Cllr Ian Stephens said, but also empty homes which "are a blot on the landscape".

He said it was an opportunity for those property owners to speak to the council and find a way forward to bring it back into use for the benefit of the Island's homeless.

Cllr Stephens said he just hoped the legislation would come through to support the council's intent.

It will now be discussed at full council next week, but cannot be enforced until the legislation is officially made into law.

Earlier in the week, a scrutiny committee urged caution over the proposed tax premium as it could be promising something that may never happen.