The unpopular bedroom tax turned one year old last week, marking the anniversary of a big change in the benefit system that many struggling households are still fighting to overcome. Many changes have been made since he bedroom tax was applied to households, but families with spare rooms in their homes are still fighting to repay debts, falling further and further into arrears and having to seek help from charities and services like Council Tax Advisors on a more regular basis.
The bedroom tax has proven extremely controversial since it was first introduced, with poorer residents turning out to protest the unjust law penalising those with lower incomes and, in one recent case, allowing pricey flats on One Hyde Park to remain completely empty. Families struggling to keep up with council tax payments and other debts without any government safety net after cuts have been forced to fall deeper into arrears, only seeking help when things become a problem too large to tackle alone.
Charity Christians Against Poverty have warned people that four in ten of their new clients have come to them with council tax arrears, with one in ten struggling to pay off a housing benefit overpayment. It is well known that changes to the benefits system and council tax laws end up affecting the most vulnerable households, with further changes only adding to their problems and creating a snowball effect. This then results in consequences such as visits from bailiffs and spiralling debt seemingly impossible to pay off.
Despite a reform of what bailiffs, renamed enforcement officers, can and can’t do when collecting for debtors, a knock on the door still feels like the worst case scenario for those struggling with repayments, and the cycle of fear, worry and helplessness can result in serious ramifications for those most at risk. With the addition of the bedroom text a year ago, and now more fees that have been introduced when enforcement officers have to be called, families nearing the end of the debts are being forced backwards while they search for a way out of their own seemingly inescapable cycle of repayments and debt.
For personal and professional advice on how to overcome these challenges, as well as set up a reasonable repayment plan, Council Tax Advisors can help. Having been through a lot of the same financial struggles, you can trust that our guidance is sound, sympathetic and practical, so get in contact today and finally rid yourself of the arrears that have plagued your life for far too long.