What can be done about how council tax arrears are collected?
The proportion of our clients with council tax arrears rose from 10% in 2010 to 28% in 2014. Councils are considered some of the most unhelpful creditors by people in financial difficulty.
We believe that council tax arrears rose both as part of pressure on low income households in the years during and following the financial crisis, but also as a result of changes in 2013 to the support available to help low income families cope with the cost of council tax bills.
Council tax arrears are closely associated with poor collection practices that can exacerbate people’s financial difficulty beyond not being able to afford the bills themselves.
In response to the review of council tax support since the changes in 2013, we argue that Government should consider council tax arrears collections practice together with council tax support, and introduce a ‘breathing space’ protection to stop councils’ practices from pushing people deeper into financial difficulty.
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