What is the Rain Tax?
On Friday 9 April the rain tax
officially became history. Scouting has been campaigning since November
2008 for protection from unaffordable rises in water bills, which in
some cases threatened local Scout Groups’ very existence.
Scout groups who own their own properties, the change in setting water
bills based on rateable value to surface area of properties would have
meant increases in water bills and less money for activities.
some cases it would have meant possible closure where Groups’
fundraising efforts would have had to go towards paying unaffordable
The Flood and Water Management Bill, which gained
royal assent last Friday has been placed on the statute books. For
Scouting in England and Wales this means water companies will have to
set concessionary charging schemes for community and voluntary groups so
that water bills are fair and affordable.
The legislation will
be brought in as part of the Flood and Water Management Act in the next
session of Parliament, in the autumn.
future of Scouting
Chief Executive of The Scout Association,
Derek Twine said: ‘At a time when young people in their thousands want
to become part of the Scout Movement, I am pleased that community and
voluntary groups who are facing financial challenges are protected in
legislation from unaffordable water bills.
the manner in which this issue was dealt with by all sides, to ensure it
was resolved urgently to protect Scouting’s and other community and
voluntary groups’ futures. Whoever wins the general election, Scouting
will press the government for a commitment on what exactly is a fair and
Lord Addington, a Liberal Democrat peer who
has advocated strongly for Scouting in the House of Lords said: ‘We have
something here which is necessary and seems to be reacting to a real
need. I am grateful the rather unnecessary scare that the voluntary
sector had about water charging has been dealt with.
answer that the Government came up with, if not perfect, was well
handled. I say a profound thank you to them because some of us felt
that a lot of damage could have been caused.’
the next few months a public consultation will take place. During this
period consumers will be asked what they believe to be a fair and
The Scout Association encourages Scouts to
take part in this process where they can, and encourage others to do the
For Groups that receive water bills that are
significantly higher than last year, email The Scout Association Public
Affairs and Campaigns team
with further information so we can raise
this with Ofwat on Scouting’s behalf.
Press Release on concessionFlood
and Water Management Act 2010The Scout Association Rain Tax
You can still help support the concession by signing up to the Rain Tax campaign below: