Publications

Council Tax

Have cuts to Council Tax Support in England led to rising council tax arrears?

Commissioned by: The Joseph Rowntree Foundation

  • Published 12th Dec 2016
  • Authors: Carla Ayrton,
  • Category: Council Tax

Council Tax arrears have risen in the years since the introduction of Council Tax Support (CTS), a local replacement for Council Tax Benefit (CTB) which tends to be less generous. This briefing paper looks at the relationship between the generosity of council tax support schemes and council tax arrears. 

Key findings: 

* Between 2012/13, the last year of Council Tax Benefit, and 2015/16 the net collectible debit (the income that local authorities would collect in each year if everyone liable for Council Tax paid it in full) increased by 11%. In comparison, total arrears grew by 13% and court and administration costs grew by 35%.

* Local authorities with a 20% increase in minimum payment had an additional £27.7 million in uncollected taxes in 2015/16 when compared with 2012/13. Local authorities with a minimum payment of more than 20% had an additional £45.0 million in uncollected taxes in 2015/16 when compared with 2012/13. In contrast, local authorities who retained Council Tax benefit have seen a decrease of uncollected tax of £10.6 million.

About this report
This report was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and written by Carla Ayrton of the New Policy Institute.