It seems that regrettably the Government has no intention of bringing relief to many in the business community with a re-think of the former Labour Government’s planned rise in the threshold for empty rates relief.

In Parliament on 17th January 2011 Robert Neill, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was asked what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect of the reduction of the empty property rates threshold on the business sector?

In a written answer Mr Neill replied that although the Government recognises the problems caused by the previous Government’s reforms of empty property rates, any action would need to be balanced against the costs involved (estimated at £400 million to continue with the temporary empty rates measure) particularly in the light of the current fragile economic climate. The Coalition has no immediate plans to reverse the reforms and the empty property rate threshold will revert to £2,600 (from £2,200) from 1 April 2011.