Rise in court summons due to cuts in council tax support
Research has found that there has been an increase in the number of low-income families being summoned to court for non-payment of council tax.
Research by False Economy has found that there has been an annual increase of over 500,000 court summonses in England, which is largely driven by low income working-age households who’ve been affected by the £490m cut to council tax support, reports 24dash.
False Economy also believe that the situation is likely to worsen over the new tax year as one in seven local authorities are set to further increase the size of their cuts to council tax.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, around 2.5 million low income households were hit by the resulting council tax rises in the first year of the minimum payment schemes.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Slashing council tax support has been one of the government’s cruellest cuts. It was foolish for ministers to think that families who can’t afford to heat their homes can pay new tax bills for hundreds of pounds. And it is heartless for them to stand by as the poorest families are hauled through the courts and harassed by bailiffs. If anyone is to be hit with higher taxes it should be the fat cats in the boardrooms and those corporations that are dodging paying their fair share, not the poorest working-age households in the UK.”
A False Economy spokesperson said: “Council tax support cuts have caused chaos for families and households, and also for councils. They are leaving people out of pocket and in debt, which is also bad for local businesses that depend on them as customers. Councils are now pursuing people through the courts for money they do not have. It is a shambles made by a cabinet of millionaires in a government that has been completely out of touch with reality.”
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