Alistair Darling has dropped the unpopular empty property charge on buildings with a rateable value of below £15,000.
According to the chancellor, the changes will affect 70 per cent of the UK’s unoccupied buildings.
He addressed Parliament today and announced a series of tax cuts, which included a 2.5 per cent reduction of Value Added Tax.
The British Property Federation (BPF) has lobbied for an abolition of the charges. Liz Peace, chief executive, previously said they were “clearly creating many problems for local authorities as well as small and large businesses”.
Research by the BPF and real estate advisor Atisreal, claimed council officials responsible for collecting the duty were “universally opposed” to it.
“The fact that the rates collectors oppose the tax is unsurprising and it’s clear that the damage being done by empty rates is affecting people far outside the property industry,” Ms Pearce added.
The most recent changes to the government’s tax on empty commercial property will not take effect until the next financial year.