Sports organisations welcome rain tax decision
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Sports organisations welcome rain tax decision

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The government's decision to put an end to the "rainwater tax" system of charging sports clubs and charities for water usage has been welcomed by a number of UK sports organisations.

Ofwat, the regulatory body for the water industry, introduced the method in April 2008, which forced clubs and voluntary organisations to cut back on activities due to increased water bills. However, environment secretary Hilary Benn announced at the Labour party conference that the introduction of a social water charging system will now enable water companies to offer concessionary rates.

Brigid Simmonds, chair of the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR), said: "Clubs in some areas have been subject to a rain tax, which has increased their drainage bills by thousands of per cent in some cases and they just haven't been able to absorb these charges. "Many of these clubs have been in operation for decades, often with large grounds but small premises. The change from rateable value of property to square footage would have forced the closure of a substantial number of these clubs."

The Rugby Football Union's (RFU) head of public affairs, Nick Bunting has also welcomed the government's decision a a move that will benefit rugby clubs across the country. Bunting said: "All the major sports have worked collectively with the government to resolve this matter. We will now be seeking assurances from all of the main political parties for wide ranging cross party support to make sure these measures become law in the Floods and Water Bill.

"We believe this is vital to protect the future of the rugby clubs which are the life blood of many local communities." Meanwhile, the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), David Collier, added: "The ECB has received many examples of the impact these charges would place on clubs and we are delighted by the minister's statement.

"I know this news will come as a very welcome relief to many of our clubs whose financial stability had been seriously threatened."

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The government's decision to put an end to the "rainwater tax" system of charging sports clubs and charities for water usage has been welcomed by a number of UK sports organisations.
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