OWNERS of historic homes open to the public should get better tax breaks, according to North Oxfordshire MP Tony Baldry.

In a debate in the House of Commons, Mr Baldry highlighted the struggle families who owned properties such as Broughton Castle, near Banbury, faced in maintaining and repairing buildings.

He said changes to heritage maintenance funds would also give the country’s tourism a boost.

Mr Baldry said: “The owners of historic houses in no way wish to be rentiers on the state, but in consideration of the fact that they continue to provide public access to their homes, and of the broader community and national benefit of historic houses, we have an interest in trying to get the balance right.”

But Bernard Bovingdon, who is campaigning to save services at Bicester Day Centre, said Mr Baldry should devote his time to supporting the young and old who were being hit by council cuts.

He said: “The bloke in the castle, that’s tough life on him, he’s in a minority. I personally don’t think MPs should be wasting their time pandering to the rich.”