Charities set to be hit by new water rate charges

Voluntary organisations are set to face a massive increase in
costs as a result of the Regulation of Care Bill and the removal of
charitable status from water rates, according to Capability
Scotland, the largest support organisation for disabled people in

Under its current terms the regulation of care is to be
self-financing raising additional registration fees for all
services covered by its wider scope. Voluntary organisations will
have to meet these fees, train staff to comply with new regulations
and invest in bringing premises up to the new standards.

So far, it is expected that organisations will have to meet
these costs from charitable donations and without assistance from
the Scottish executive. Also, the voluntary services will have to
pay for water rates from which they were previously exempt due to
charitable status. Capability Scotland calculates that by 2005 the
combined effect will add £200,000 to their annual costs.

Kate Higgins, policy officer with Capability Scotland, said: “We
would be concerned if we were having to obtain funds solely to meet
new tax and charge burdens.”

A Scottish executive spokesperson said that the executive was
“considering the situation sympathetically”.

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