Mark Whitehead 26 April 2019

Amount of unpaid council tax rises to £3bn

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Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: 'By forcing local authorities to use rigid and outdated collection processes, council tax regulations make it harder for people to pay their original debts instead of helping them to get their finances back on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

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Road Worker

City of Bradford MDC
Band 6 £20,043 - £22,129 pa
Bradford Metropolitan District Council is looking for two Road Workers to join the Highway Delivery Unit. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Senior Practitioner - Family Support and Protection

Essex County Council
£41552 - £50290 per annum + + Free Parking & Local Gov Package
Closing Date
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Planning Enforcement Officer

Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
Grade 5, £30,737 - £35,747 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Greater Cambridge Planning Enforcement Team Cambourne/Cambridge/Hybrid
Recuriter: Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

Assistant Engineer / Engineer

City of Bradford MDC
£24,920 - £34,373 pa
This is an opportunity to join the highway maintenance team Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Technician - Maintenance Programmes (3 Posts)

Derbyshire County Council
£23,657 - £25,568 per annum - Plus market leading package (see below)
This is an exciting time to join our in-house Highways Service Hybrid
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.