New Year boost for local charities- Applications open for charges exemption scheme

Charities and sports clubs across Falkirk district are set to be able to keep more of the money they raise in 2015 and pay less on bills.

Applications opened on 5th January for a new scheme to assist eligible organisations with the payment of water and sewerage charges.

The Scottish Government scheme will mean that charities registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, which meet the scheme requirements and which have an income of less than £200,000 will no longer need to pay water and sewerage charges – and those with incomes between £200,000 and £300,000 will pay a reduced rate.

The new scheme takes effect from the new financial year starting on 1st April 2015 but application for the scheme can be made from January 5th. It will cost an estimated £6.5 million – £4.5 million from Scottish Water and the remainder from the Scottish Government.

Beneficiaries of the current scheme that ends on 31 March 2015 are automatically enrolled in the new scheme. They will receive a letter shortly from their Licensed Providers to confirm. All charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs which are currently responsible for paying water and/or sewerage charges must apply for the new Scheme, but have till March 2016 to be included for help with their 2015-16 bills.

Further information on the new Scheme and the transitional measures for those that have benefited from the Scheme that ends on the 31 March 2015 are available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/waterindustryscot/watercharges

Alternatively charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs can contact their Licensed Provider.

In welcoming this Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs make an important contribution to the well-being of communities throughout the Falkirk area. It is important that they are supported.

“The new water and waste charges exemption scheme means eligible local charities with an income of less than £200,000 will no longer have to pay anything – meaning more of their money can be used to support the valuable services that they provide. This replaces the current Scheme that everyone agrees is out-dated.

“Applications can be submitted from 5th January and I’d encourage all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to check their eligibility and apply as soon as possible. For those organisations in the current scheme, please note that you do not need to apply. You are automatically enrolled”.