The commercial property industry has reacted with alarm at the government’s Budget report on Wednesday. The sector has been one of the worst impacted by the credit crunch, with commercial property rates in London falling by over a third from their mid-2007 peak.
Bosses had hoped that Alistair Darling’s plan would include measures to address the difficulties experienced by commercial property owners, such as reducing rate payments on empty buildings – which costs around £1 billion per year – and relaxing the rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
Instead, the government made only limited changes to benefit the industry, leading to widespread condemnation of the measures.
British Property Federation CEO Liz Peace commented, ‘It defies logic that during the worst recession for a generation the Government should ignore some very simple practical solutions laid on a plate in front of it that would cost practically nothing.’