Benefit cuts blamed for huge surge in use of bailiffs for council tax debts


Three years after the localisation of council tax support (CTS) to London boroughs, council tax arrears are up and London has seen a 51% hike in the use of bailiffs to chase down the debts from the capital’s poorest households, a new report from Z2K and Child Poverty Action Group reveals.

The report finds 19,212 London claimants of council tax support were referred to bailiffs in 2015/16 for council tax arrears – up from 12,692in 2014/15.(1) This is despite a small decrease in court summonses issued.

Although fewer Londoners claimed council tax support in 2015/16, the number of households in arrears rose to 131,572 in the year to March 2016 – up from 123,000 in March 2015.

STILL TOO POOR TO PAY: three years of localised council tax support in London tracks the impact of council tax support schemes since they were set up in April 2013 to replace council tax benefit , as well as analysing changes in 2015/16.

Source: Benefit cuts blamed for 51% surge in use of bailiffs for council tax debts


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4 thoughts on “Benefit cuts blamed for huge surge in use of bailiffs for council tax debts

  1. joanna

    I have to take out a budgeting loan of £348 each year to pay my council tax which is £146 this year, the rest I spent on much needed clothes and non perishable food.

    It is usually paid off in 6 months, then I take out another and top-up my gas and electric. I can’t afford to make the bungalow I exist in looking good or comfortable, I can’t physically or financially afford to decorate it, but that’s ok, at least I can keep the wolves from the door for now! Plus there are more deserving people worse off than me!!!

  2. Tim

    What we have here is the return of the Poll Tax under a veil. And when Thatcher brought in what the Tories called the Community Charge, she included a small increase in unfrozen benefits to help claimants pay it; even so the Poll Tax prompted riots and multitudes took to the streets to protest and march against it whereas now nobody seems to have noticed the new evil or cares much about the pernicious status quo.

    How can people on frozen benefits be justly expected to pay 25% – 30% of their Council Tax bill from minimal amounts that were never designed to meet such expenses?

    We live in very peculiar times.

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