Cosla condemns moves to make council run charities pay rates


Glasgow City Council operates 10 Aleos 

Move will impact on council services says umbrella body

24th August 2017 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Cosla has hit out at plans to strip tax breaks from arms- length council charities.

The body, which represents Scotland’s 32 local authorities, said the move would have a huge impact on councils’ ability to deliver services.

It comes after TFN this week revealed the Barclay review recommended that arms-length external organisations (Aleos) should lose their entitlement to discounted rates.

Often this means charities get 100% discount on their rates bill.  

If enforced, the move will cost these arms-length council-run bodies at least £45 million a year.

The report said Aleos, which councils create often as a cost-cutting measure, were effectively avoiding paying rates.

Councillor Gail Macgregor, Cosla’s resources spokeswoman, said: “Councils are under significant financial pressure and seek to protect services.

“As part of protecting services, councils need to make savings.

"If this option is removed from councils this will have a big impact on frontline delivery of much-needed services such as leisure.

“I absolutely refute any suggestions that councils have deliberately avoided paying rates. We do not accept this.

“These are legitimate decisions and cannot be construed as avoidance.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken promised a review into the effectiveness of the city’s 10 Aleos but has yet to be delivered.  

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We note the review and await the government’s response to its recommendations.”

25th August 2017 by Tiiu-Imbi Miller

Maybe I am being dense, but I don't understand why it matters whether an entity that claims to be a charity has been set up by a council or anyone else. OSCR and the Charity Commission lay down definite criteria as to what is or is not a charity. If the entity meets these criteria, then surely it is a charity. If it doesn't, it isn't. Is that not so?

25th August 2017 by RealFreedom

Tiiu-Imbi MillerNot if you are a social justice warrior, where only those organisations of whom you approve are entitled to the protection of the law.