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Blog – May 2019

Better council tax collection methods would lead to a higher level of services or cheaper bills ……………………….I don’t think so!

Why does this never happen?

Two articles caught my eye in recent weeks relating to Council Tax Recoveries.The first in the Guardian stated that “an analysis of government figures found the total amount of council tax arrears across England in the 2017-18 financial year was £944m, 37% higher than in 2012-13, when it was £691m.”

Imagine the additional services that could be delivered with that amount.

The average collection rate for a Council in England for 2017-18 is 97.1%. Consider the amounts involved across all the Councils.

The second was a Government press release,

“Every year, councils issue nearly 24 million Council Tax bills to help fund key local services, from adult social care and children’s services, to refuse collections and leisure facilities. Uncollected tax means less money for services and higher bills for residents who do pay on time.

The government wants to bring in a more effective Council Tax collection system which treats people more fairly, while ensuring the money required to fund public services is collected. It recognises consideration of personal circumstances can help a person’s financial recovery.”

Ultimately, it is about all Councils working together with reputable tracing agents and debt collection suppliers, charities and advice agencies in order to ensure that the customer is at the forefront of all of this. The can’t pay and won’t pays need to be sifted correctly. One solution does not fit all and that has to be recognised.

Sources: Guardian article 13/4/19 and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government press releaese 10/4/19.