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One million people in court for unpaid Council Tax

January 7, 2009 8:07 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Over a million people were summoned to court last year because they failed to pay their Council Tax in full, research by the Liberals Democrats has found.

A survey of more than 170 councils found that in the last year: More than 1m people have been summoned to court for falling behind with their Council Tax payment Bailiffs were called to collect Council Tax arrears from almost 600,000 people Councils filed for bankruptcy for over 1,700 people in order to collect Council Tax arrears

The Liberal Democrats are calling for all public bodies, including local authorities and government departments, to follow a Code of Conduct to ensure that families are not bankrupted unnecessarily during the recession.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Local Government Secretary, Julia Goldsworthy said:

"This survey shows the devastating effect that failing to pay Council Tax can have on families, especially those already struggling to cope with mortgage repayments and rising bills.

"Just as lenders are being asked to reduce repossessions, public bodies should do everything they can to ensure that bankruptcy is only ever a last resort.

"This is not a licence to avoid paying bills, it is about ensuring that court appearances and bankruptcy are avoided where possible.

"It is high time the unfair Council Tax was scrapped and replaced with a fair tax based on the ability to pay."