Issues with council tax among the least financially well off have always been there, but recent cuts to government funding for council tax support have seemingly worsened the problem for many. Now, with funding cut by 10% with the abolition of the council tax benefit system last year and warnings from officials that the cuts could go much further, things are reaching breaking point for too many families.
Support could fall by 28% by 2016, reports the Express and Star with further issues with missed payments and subsequent visits from bailiffs seemingly inevitable among the most vulnerable. A recent survey suggested that 35% of councils around the country intend to ask for bigger payments from those claiming benefits in 2014/15 and that, the greater the charge for these households, the more “regressive” the tax. Also expected is a rise in non-repayment rates, with more and more low-income families forced to pay a portion of their bill.
Sharon Taylor, chair of the Local Government Association’s finance panel, said: “When Government handed the responsibility for administering council tax support, it cut hundreds of millions in funding for it. The shortfall between the money councils receive to fund council tax support and the money we would need to protect those on low incomes is going to get bigger and is likely to reach £1 billion by 2016.”
Even without these ominous facts and predictions regarding support for the UK’s poorest families, of course, falling into council tax arrears is something that sometimes just happens. No matter the reason, if you are having trouble keeping up with paying your council tax bills and are anxious about some of the possible consequences – such as a visit from bailiffs – then contacting Council Tax Advisors can really help in getting things back on track. We’re here to offer advice, support and helpful tips for remedying the problem.
We can help those who are struggling by both offering guidance and taking active steps towards resolving any issues they are having. We are professionals speaking for personal experience, and so can approach the problem from a uniquely personal angle, and it’s entirely possible for us to mediate between you and your council to organise a reasonable repayment plan. With further cuts to council tax support expected to arrive over the next couple of years, it’s important to know that there is somewhere to go should problems surface, and CTA are always on hand to help those who are struggling.