09 December 2009

Nonsense in the Pre-Budget Report - Part 1

From the Pre-Budget Report:
To give support during the transition to recovery, the Government is maintaining for a further year the temporary increase in the threshold at which an empty property becomes liable for business rates. For financial year 2010-11, empty properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000 will be exempt from business rates, exempting an estimated 70 per cent of empty properties. This higher threshold reflects the effects of business rates revaluation. The Government continues to believe that, in the long term, beyond an initial rate-free period, it is right to charge rates when properties stand empty, since this increases incentives to re-let and reuse empty property, and avoids subsidising owners of empty properties.
So, the report acknowledges the benefit of charging business rates on empty properties, but exempts the majority of empty properties at a time when there is most benefit to be gained from creating incentives to bring empty properties back into use and there is a need for revenue to narrow the gap between government spending and government borrowing.

Absolutely barking.

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