A leading Liberal Democrat MP has tabled a new motion in the Houses of Parliament asking for a reform of the empty property rates tax.
Lorely Burt, MP for Solihull and spokeswoman for the Lib Dems on business, enterprise and regulatory reform, filed the early day motion on Wednesday this week.
The motion says that the introduction of rate relief for properties with a rateable value of up to £15,000 – introduced in the pre-budget report last year – is not enough.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Burt said: ‘The rate relief for rateable values of up to £15,000 is extremely welcome, but one does not get much, in terms of rateable value, for £15,000. If one is in a Town Centre, or is lucky enough to be in the beautiful constituency of Solihull, that £15,000 really does not cut it.
‘Today, I have asked hon. Members to sign my early-day motion, which says that we should consider extending that upper limit of £15,000.
‘A gentleman in my constituency is offering warehouse space at 50p a square foot. That is unbelievable, and we must do something, otherwise there will be no empty properties available, come the upturn, to facilitate all the things that we need.’
Early day motions are used by MPs to draw attention to an issue. The motions are only rarely debated.