§ Mr. Loughton
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the proposals for regeneration in his pre-Budget Report will fulfil the recommendations contained in the Rogers report:"Towards an Urban Renaissance".
§ Dawn Primarolo
[holding answer 13 November 2000]: The pre-Budget Report 2000 announced that the following package of measures to promote urban regeneration would be introduced in Budget 2001:
- (i) complete exemption from stamp duty for all property transactions in Britain's most disadvantaged communities;
- (ii) accelerated payable tax credit for cleaning up contaminated land;
- (iii) immediate tax relief to property owners for the costs of converting redundant space over shops and other commercial premises into flats for letting;
- (iv) a reduced rate of VAT for the cost of converting residential properties into a different number of dwellings;
- (v) an adjustment to the zero rate of VAT to provide relief for the sale of renovated houses that have been empty for 10 years or more.
Of these proposed measures, the first three respond to specific recommendations made in the Urban Task Force report "Towards an Urban Renaissance", chaired by Lord Rogers. The remaining two move some way towards Lord Rogers's recommendations for changes to VAT. In addition, the Government announced that it would continue to monitor the urban regeneration companies, and consider how a tax relief may help, responding to a further recommendation made in the report.