Alistair Darling’s failure to reform empty rates and REITs 'defies logic', the property industry said yesterday.

Commercial property has been one of the worst affected sectors from the financial crisis and industry bosses had been hoping that the Budget would include proposals designed to ease the problems facing the UK’s largest property owners.

These included a relaxation of REIT rules – such as paying 90% of rental income in dividends – and regulations designed to encourage a private rental sector, including the scrapping of Stamp Duty Land Tax on large residential purchases.

However, the lack of government support prompted warnings that REITs will find it increasing difficult to manage their cash resources.

Daily Telegraph