BusinessCompany NewsMandelson slammed for vacant property comments

Mandelson slammed for vacant property comments

Business secretary Mandelson accused of being out of touch with reality and misunderstands how business works

Business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson outraged small businesses and trade
bodies earlier this week by claiming that tax from empty commercial property’s
was ‘good news for tenants.’

The bombsite Britain tax, named as landlords have demolished property rather
than go under from the heavy tax costs, was brought in by Gordon Brown in April
last year to raise £1.3bn,
the
Liverpool Daily Post reported
.

Trade bodies and SMEs claimed that Mandelson was ‘detached from reality’
while other MPs have shown their support by joining the British Property
Federations national campaign to stop the empty rates tax.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: ‘It’s
worrying that people running the country have such fundamental misunderstandings
of how business works. You can’t tax something earning no money and expect that
to conjure up tenants when demand is falling through the floor. No one’s asking
for handouts, just a reality check. We must stop this empty rates madness.’

Peter Cosmetatos, BPF director for finance and investment, said: ‘Nobody
could have predicted the credit crunch when the rate relief cut was first set
out in the 2007 Budget, but since the cut actually took effect in April we have
been in a dire situation that could be made much worse should the industry
continue to be unfairly penalised in this way. There is no value in keeping a
property empty – particularly in a downturn.’

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