To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of the properties receiving empty property business tax relief in each of the last five years were empty for more than six months; and how much was paid out in empty property business tax relief for such properties in each of those years.
This information is not held centrally.
In 2009-10 all empty properties with rateable values up to £15,000 are eligible for full relief from business rates. This temporary measure will continue for a further 12 months-to cover the whole of 2010-11-and the threshold will be uprated to £18,000, in line with the general movement of property values at revaluation. 70 per cent. of all properties are under this threshold and, if empty, will not be liable for rates in 2010-11. This temporary measure is providing real help to owners to manage short-term pressures in a difficult property market.