Mark Whitehead 26 April 2019

Amount of unpaid council tax rises to £3bn

Amount of unpaid council tax rises to £3bn  image

The total amount of unpaid council tax has risen to more than £3bn, according to the latest figures.

Research by Citizens Advice says around 2.2 million households – 10% of the total – are behind with payments.

Council tax arrears grew by a third in the eight years up to 2018, the charity warns, up by 6% in the last year alone.

However, it is calling for a series of measures to prevent bailiffs using aggressive methods to collect the debts including setting up an independent watchdog.

The call follows the Government's announcement that it will review the way local authorities collect council tax.

Citizens Advice wants a change in the law to stop people being asked to pay their entire annual bill if they miss a monthly payment and says councils should be required to develop affordable repayment plans.

It says the threat of imprisonment for council tax arrears in England should be removed.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: 'By forcing local authorities to use rigid and outdated collection processes, council tax regulations make it harder for people to pay their original debts instead of helping them to get their finances back on track.

'Through its council tax collection review, the Government must fundamentally reform the regulations governing how local authorities collect debts.

'Punitive processes such as charging a full year’s bill after a single monthly payment is missed show how broken the system is – they both tie the hands of councils and force people into debt.'

PWLB hike: A rise too far? image

PWLB hike: A rise too far?

What impact will the increase to the Public Works Loan Board rate have on councils’ housing and other capital schemes? Neil Merrick investigates.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of HR/OD

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,000 circa
The role will involve working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Executive to lead our People Strategy and... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £9469 per annum
Please note this is part time position (18.5 hours a week) across Uttlesford, mainly based in Dunmow and Stansted and is to be offered on an initial 6 England, Essex, Dunmow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant (Libraries)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938 per annum
Please note this position is to be offered on an initial 6 month , fixed term basis. Do you enjoy working with people? Enthusiastic about playing a ke England, Essex, Saffron Walden
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Services Assistant - Mark Hall Library

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18950 per annum
Please note that this position is a part time role, offering 18.5 hours per week and is offered on a Fixed Term Basis for a period of 6 months. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note this is a fixed term contract or secondment opportunity until December 2020 In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". H England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores what impact the increase to the Public Works Loan Board rate have on councils’ capital schemes and why adopting AI will not just improve customer service response times for councils.

This issue also finds out how local government pension funds are backing infrastructure projects and calls on local government to get better value from its technology spend.

Register for your free magazine