HC Deb 22 June 1992 vol 210 c96W
Mr. Dover

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to abolish the 50 per cent. business rate on non-productive empty premises; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robin Squire

No. Empty property benefits from local services and it is right that it should contribute to the cost. We estimate that abolition would cost £600 million a year. We are already providing £1–25 billion of help to businesses over the next three years under the Non-Domestic Rating Act 1992.

Charging authorities have discretion to grant rate relief to businesses in cases of hardship provided it is in the interests of their community chargepayers to do so.