VAT should be slashed on long-term empty homes to bring hundreds of thousands of vacant properties back into use, the Local Government Association will say today.

The group will call for Alistair Darling, the chancellor, to cut VAT on the refurbishment of homes that have lain empty for more than six months. It will say that the measure could stimulate the building trade and help prevent further job losses during the downturn.

It would also tackle the bizarre situation where there are nearly 1m empty homes in the UK.

Financial Times