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Empty Property Rates (SMEs)

Volume 545: debated on Tuesday 15 May 2012

The following is an extract from the closing speech given by the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Andrew Stunell) during the Westminster Hall debate on Empty Property Rates on 11 January 2012.

We have already taken some major actions, particularly on business rates, to demonstrate our commitment to providing targeted support for the business community. Yesterday, the Local Government Finance Bill, which reforms business rates, received its Second Reading. When the measure comes into force, it will give every local authority the capacity to rebate business rates at their discretion in their local area. I hope that Members here today will support that legislation with great enthusiasm, and that they look forward to the day, in April next year when the measure comes into force, when they can go to their local authorities and make as eloquently as they have today the case for empty property business rate relief, which can then be targeted and shaped to local circumstances.

[Official Report, 11 January 2012, Vol. 538, c. 108WH.]

Letter of correction from Andrew Stunell:

An error has been identified in the closing speech in the Westminster Hall debate on Empty Property Rates on 11 January 2012. The error relates to introduction of flexibilities for local authorities on business rates.

The corrected version is as follows:

We have already taken some major actions, particularly on business rates, to demonstrate our commitment to providing targeted support for the business community. The Localism Act 2011 includes powers, which will be available for local authorities from 1 April 2012, that will give every local authority the capacity to rebate business rates at their discretion in their local area. I hope that Members here today will support this with great enthusiasm, and that they look forward to the day, in April when the measure comes into force, when they can go to their local authorities and make as eloquently as they have today the case for empty property business rate relief, which can then be targeted and shaped to local circumstances.