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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