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Scottish government plans water charges for empty commercial sites

The Scottish government has gone out to consultation over plans to introduce water, drainage and sewerage charges for owners of empty business properties. The consultation, which seeks the views of property owners and businesses, is open until August 10, 2015.

Empty commercial premises are currently exempt from water charges in ScotlandEmpty commercial premises are currently exempt from water charges in Scotland

Currently, owners of these empty properties pay no water, sewerage or drainage charges and the cost of service provision is met by other customers. The Scottish government said new money raised will be used to limit future increases for water charges to business customers across Scotland, ensuring better value and a fairer system.

Launching the consultation, deputy first minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish government appreciates that businesses - just like families - face a squeeze on their budgets and we therefore want to make sure that the costs of doing business are kept as low as possible. It is also important, to make the charging system fair for everyone, that all business properties should pay for the water, sewerage and drainage services they receive."

Swinney said that all the additional money raised by removing the exemption on unoccupied business properties will be used to keep charges down for all business customers.

“We are keen to invite all those affected, especially property owners and business customers who are currently covering the cost of exemptions, to give us your feedback," he said. 

Author: Maureen Gaines, Editor, WET News Find on Google+
Topic: Policy & Regulation
Tags: sewerage , water bills , Scotland , wa_drainage

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