It’s a well known reality that households earning less are being offered little support when it comes to their council tax, and further cuts to support made recently have only exacerbated the problem further. Now, with local authorities across England continuing to reduce the amount of council tax support offered to the poorest residents, a survey has revealed that only 45 councils out of 326 are going to continue to provide equivalent support to the now obsolete Council Tax Benefit system.
That leaves 244 councils now asking households to pay council tax regardless of their financial situation. This amounts to 85% or less of their liability in 69 councils, and 20% in a further 47 councils. Minimum payment has also risen for 56 of the 229 councils that already had a minimum in place, meaning that almost 600,000 of the country’s poorest households are now facing rising council tax payments for the second year running, and a further 70,000 of these will be facing the financial burden without support for the first time.
Chris Goulden, head of poverty research at Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “For a second successive year, the country’s poorest families are facing big increases in council tax. This change to the welfare system is largely below the radar but has significant impact for families already struggling to get by on a low income. Paying this tax increase will be beyond most, pushing them into deeper hardship.”
Further cuts to support previously offered to these households is the worst possible news for some UK residents who are most in need, and these external circumstances are likely to cause issues for many families falling behind on their council tax payments. The fear for most when this happens is the potential for a visit from bailiffs, viewed in many cases as the worst case scenario. Of course, as the stereotype suggests, there are many bailiffs who choose to abuse their power and act inappropriately, but seeking advice from Council Tax Advisors on how to deal with a potential visit from bailiffs can help you to take back control.
And as well as offering advice on how best to avoid, and then deal with, bad bailiffs, we can also help you to be free of debt with advice on how to free yourself of debt. Working on mediation between you and your council, we can organise a reasonable repayment plan that will rid you of arrears and the constant fear of facing consequences from falling behind. With Council Tax Advisors, there’s always someone on hand to help those most in need and, with further cuts worsening the problem for so many households, that friendly, personal help is now more necessary than ever.