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We comment on further emergency funding for councils

The Government has today announced a new funding package for councils to help address coronavirus pressures and cover lost income during the pandemic.

It has also announced councils will be able to spread their tax deficits over three years rather than the usual one in order to provide breathing space for local budgets.

Commenting on the announcement, Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs here at StepChange said:

“This welcome new funding will help to ease the burden on council finances and enable them to provide more support to financially vulnerable residents.

"We hope the news that local authorities will have three years to repay any council tax revenue deficits will feed through to their approach to recouping arrears from local residents. Both central and local government should confirm that this is the expectation.

"Heavy-handed and unrealistic repayment demands for council tax arrears in the post-pandemic period are pointless and unnecessarily frightening given the situation many people find themselves in – and the resumption of bailiff visits to enforce them from the end of August is particularly worrying.

"We look forward to confirmation that the increased flexibility given to councils will feed through to a similarly empathetic approach to their debt management.”

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