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The removal of empty property rate relief

If one is trying to conduct a business, particularly in these difficult economic times, you would like to think the government and local authorities were in touch.

The recent removal of empty property rate relief has been, in my opinion, and others judging by the amount of comment in the media, been an extremely short-sighted and short-term attempt to raise additional revenue but with potentially a very negative effect on business particularly for those requiring short-term accommodation or space to expand or start up a business. Owners of property are not going to expand or develop as fewer opportunities will exist as more properties are demolished, with the end result being that what is left is likely to be more expensive. Certainly it has not been thought out.

John Surtees
10 July 2008