Yet his silence speaks of a government prepared to grandstand on Corporation Tax rather than solve a complex property tax problem. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, may offer our next hope of reform.
In other news, courts are increasingly supporting the rights of landlords and occupiers to avoid Empty Property Rate (EPR). This is welcomed. The bad news is that the Autumn Statement’s EPR exemption for new property developments appears too limited to be effective.
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Now that the dust has settled on a Budget that was more political survival than economic revival, we are disappointed the Chancellor ducked the important issue of business rates reform.
The trickle of case law precedent which underpins the rights of landlords and occupiers to avoid, in certain circumstances, the despised EPR liability, is in danger of turning into a flood.
Localism Act 2011 creates an even greater reliance on major local enterprise.
The decision to postpone the 2015 revaluation emphasises how our taxation system is comfortable penalising businesses that are most in need.
Unoccupied new build properties which enter the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 will be exempt from business rates for up to 18 months.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, has made it clear that the government seeks a more consistent measure of inflation across all policy areas.