How green was my bombsite?

August 25, 2008

brown.jpgIt seems the law of unintended consequences has struck again in Britain, and the environment could be the loser.

In an attempt to stop owners of factories, offices and warehouses from leaving their premises empty in the hope of higher rents, the government imposed a tax on vacant property.

But with the property market now in deep trouble, some landlords are finding they can’t or won’t pay the tax and are demolishing their buildings rather than leaving them empty, according to newspaper accounts here.

Opponents of the levy are calling it the “bombsite Britain tax”, the Financial Times reported, in a reference to the thousands of buildings flattened by German bombers in World War Two.

So how green is that?

Britons are being urged by officials to stop wasting food and start mending their clothes, among other things, in the name of reducing their carbon footprint.

How can a tax that has the effect of encouraging people to demolish perfectly serviceable buildings square with any real concern for the environment?

One comment

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This tax is the same stupidity which caused the destruction of many of the country’s stately homes, in that the only way for cash-strapped owners to avoid the tax they were unable to pay was to remove the roof of the building.

It is the same stupidity that slashed the supply of private properties available for rent in the 70’s, when Labour made it almost impossible to evict non-payers, and then destabilised the private property market by proposing to give local councils the right to confiscate empty properties and use them as public sector housing.

Who needs the likes of Hitler or bin Laden to wreak havoc when we elect a new set of destructive fools every five years.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive