A more ethical and supportive approach to council tax debt was agreed by Basildon councillors at the Policy and Resources Committee last night (4 July).

The advantages of introducing a more sensitive approach to collection, particularly concerning those considered vulnerable, is that a person's debts can be looked at as a whole with appropriate signposting to support available.

Councillor Gavin Callaghan, Leader of Basildon Council, said: "Heavy handed debt collection is counter-productive. Court action, bailiffs and lawyers all cost money, and can create high levels of stress and anxiety in families that find themselves in debt. This decision will scrap over £1million of additional fees and charges for the most financially vulnerable residents in our borough.

"We are determined to offer an ethical approach to debt management that both helps residents at risk of falling into debt and saves money for taxpayers at a time of massive funding cuts from central government.

"Our message for anyone who is in financial difficulty is please don't worry and struggle on your own - there is help available if you need it."

For help and advice regarding council tax please visit Council tax - what if I am struggling to pay?

 

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Published on Friday 5 July 2019