“With councils facing a £5.8bn funding shortfall by 2020, it is essential that these funds are collected so these vital services can be protected.”
“As the report indicates, councils will take steps, where possible, to make sure that people in financial difficulty are supported, whether that’s through signposting to free debt advice, or through the joint Council Tax Protocol, which the LGA has developed alongside Citizens Advice to support those who are struggling.
“Before councils use bailiffs, which are only ever used as a last resort, people will have been encouraged to apply for monetary support and efforts will have been made to either attach the debt to a salary or arrange new payment plans.
“Anyone who is having trouble paying their council tax or bills should contact their local authority as soon as possible, for financial help and advice, and to discuss the options available.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government stated: “We expect councils to show sympathy for people in genuine hardship and only use bailiffs as a last resort. However, every penny of council tax that is not collected means a higher bill for those law-abiding citizens who do pay on time.
“To support those facing financial difficulties we have given councils the powers to establish their own council tax support schemes to best meet their local need.”
“We’ve also reduced council tax bills by 9.1% in real terms since 2010, and we expect lower bills in real terms in 2019/20.”
Also Read: Council Tax Debt Help And Advice