Empty Property Rates (SMEs)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 11th January 2012.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer 11:00 am, 11th January 2012

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend and that point is very well made. In fact, the whole hub of the argument is about fairness. People are completely prepared to pay tax on income earned, but this tax on empty properties could be seen as a tax on failure and it is just simply unfair.

Similarly, there is nothing fair about forcing entrepreneurs to consider selling, abandoning or even demolishing their premises because of the threat of excessive taxation. To penalise a property owner whose property falls vacant in recessionary times is not a prescription for economic recovery but a recipe for economic stagnation. Our stance on empty properties requires a fundamental review.