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Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: 'By forcing local authorities to use rigid and outdated collection processes, council tax regulations make it harder for people to pay their original debts instead of helping them to get their finances back on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

Highways jobs

Solicitor/Barrister Advocate - Children’s x4

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - 25.68 per hour)
A fantastic opportunity to join an exciting, dynamic, pioneering new advocate team in Sandwell. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Solicitor/Barrister Governance Principal Business Lead

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - £25.68 per hour)
A fantastic opportunity to join an exciting, dynamic, pioneering legal team in Sandwell. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Employment Solicitor/Barrister Advocate

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - £25.68 per hour)
A fantastic opportunity to join an exciting, dynamic, pioneering new advocate team in Sandwell. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Solicitor/Barrister Advocate - Criminal

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - £25.68 per hour)
A fantastic opportunity to join an exciting, dynamic, pioneering new advocate team in Sandwell. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Transportation Planning Officer x2

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band F, SCP 26-31 (£29,636 – £33,799 per annum) (£15.36 - £17.52 per hour)
The post holders will be part of a team developing transport policy encompassing all modes of travel Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine