Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to increase tax on empty properties in Scotland have met with opposition from his own party, after the Scottish Conservative Party said the move would “further damage the Scottish economy”. Last week, the Scottish National Party said it will go ahead with plans to reduce the business rate discount applied to empty shops and offices from 50 per cent to ten per cent, potentially raising overheads for landlords and property buyers in the country.
“There is only a handful of business premises that are closed wilfully, the huge majority are empty because of the economic climate. This measure clearly will not help that, and in fact it will have the opposite effect and could even tip some firms over the edge,” said Scottish Conservative local government spokeswoman Margaret Mitchell.
It follows news that the National Association of Estate Agents has called on the Scottish government to reform Stamp Duty in a bid to increase demand for homes in Scotland.