The British Property Federation has launched a website highlighting the impact empty property rates have on businesses. will catalogue the effects of the tax and is backed by retailers such as Asda and Tesco as well as landlords like Westfield.

The BPF is calling on Government to reinstate the relief on the tax which was removed last April. The relief meant empty offices and shops were liable for only half their rates bills while industrial units paid nothing. Since then they’ve been taxed the full amount.

Last night chancellor Alistair Darling backed down to pressure over business rates, cutting the planned 5 per cent rise to 2 per cent, with businesses paying the remaining 3 per cent between 2010 and 1012.

BPF chief executive Liz Peace said: “We’re not asking for any bailouts, we just want fairness and taxing empty space is simply not fair. The retail sector is vital to local prosperity and this tax is serving to hit retailers who are trying to survive with a tax bill for space they can’t use because spending has fallen off. With every passing day Gordon Brown and Lord Mandelson are digging a bigger hole for us to climb out of.

“Demolitions of perfectly usable buildings will continue, new investment won’t happen and the misery of thousands of hard working individuals will be heightened.”

Asda’s head of property communications Jonathan Refoy said: “Empty rates are an unfair tax and ill timed. Instead of investing in regeneration and jobs, we have to pay this unfair tax on vacant properties that we cannot let or redevelop in the current market. This tax is an anti-regeneration measure.”