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Non-domestic Rates: Empty Property

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the estimated (a) gross and (b) net increase in business rate revenues in cash terms arising from the Government’s proposals to reduce business rate relief for empty properties is in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10; (142368)

(2) whether a regulatory impact assessment has been produced on the Budget 2007 proposals to reduce business rate relief for empty properties; and whether this move was planned to be revenue-neutral;

(3) whether the Government undertook consultation on their plans to reduce empty property business rate relief.

The Government estimate that the impact on tax revenue of reforms to empty property relief will be £950 million in 2008-09, and £900 million in subsequent years. This estimate was published in the Red Book alongside the Budget Report 2007.

A regulatory impact assessment for this measure has been produced and is published on the Communities and Local Government website:

As part of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government, Sir Michael Lyons consulted extensively on Kate Barker’s recommendation that empty property relief be reformed. As announced in the Budget, we are taking forward legislation to reform the relief from April 2008.

The Government intend to publish a consultation document next month which will seek views on proposals for detailed reforms to secondary legislation, including the existing exemptions from empty property rates.