William Eichler 11 October 2023

Liverpool to write off £25m council tax debt

Liverpool to write off £25m council tax debt image
Image: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock.com.

Millions of pounds worth of unpaid council tax is set to be written off by Liverpool City Council as ‘irrecoverable’.

A report into the local authority’s finances recommends writing off over £25m in uncollected council tax debt from the period between 1997 and 2017.

The report, which will be considered at a cabinet meeting next week, also advises the council to forgive £14m in business rates and £1.3m in housing benefit overpayments.

‘Whilst it is important that all debt is pursued vigorously, it is not considered good practice to continue pursuance of debts that are clearly irrecoverable,’ the report says.

A report published by the council in February found the council had over £220m of outstanding debts that it does not expect to recover.

Commenting ahead of next week’s meeting, deputy council leader and cabinet member for Finance and Resources, Cllr Ruth Bennett, said: ‘Our recent recovery activity has led to people who have ignored letter after letter, year after year, actively seeking to settle their debt to the city – in some cases repaying tens of thousands of pounds. We are making significant improvements across the council to ensure we have the financial resilience to deliver services to our residents.

‘The debt we are writing off is funding that we know is either irrecoverable or is not financially viable to continue to pursue, allowing us to concentrate our efforts on the debt we can recover.’

If this article was of interest, then check out our feature, 'Time to ban the use of bailiffs.'

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