Council tax an issue for more Britons

Posted in Debt, General on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 11:27 by Sarah Evans.

According to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, the number of UK residents needing assistance in meeting their council tax obligations has been rising in recent years.  In 2011, nearly 17,000 such individuals needed such help to fund their payments.  Unlike in previous years, the majority of them were renters rather than homeowners.

The current economic slump, while difficult for many, has actually been easier on Britons with mortgages since low interest rates have kept payments manageable.  At the same time, however, strict lending requirements have meant that fewer UK residents are finding themselves able to buy into the market.  This leaves them needing to rent, but the increased demand for rentals has pushed prices up, leaving even renters with excellent debt management skills less money left over to pay their council tax.  Other factors contributing to the problem include high rates of unemployment and rising prices on other necessary goods and services.

It would be nice to forecast that there is light just around the corner, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Delroy Corinaldi, representing CCCS, has actually predicted the opposite: “This is a problem we expect to get worse over the coming year.  Council tax is a priority debt and non-payment of it can have very serious consequences.  Anyone who is struggling to keep up with these bills should contact their council to discuss the problem, and check that they are receiving any discounts or rebates to which they may be entitled.”

Another option is to get in touch with a charity that offers free advice on restructuring debt so that it is more manageable.

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