Council tax arrears are pushing already-struggling families into “desperate hardship”, experts have said.
Citizens Advice reported that people who owe council tax find themselves with an average of just £7 left at the end of the month after covering living costs – while four in 10 have no cash left at all.
Nine in 10 people who went to the charity for help with council tax debt were also behind on their water and energy bills.
The charity has pointed the finger at government regulations pushing local authorities to resort to extreme measures when responding to unpaid council tax bills is leaving desperate families in even more financial trouble with legal and bailiff fees.
They pile rapidly-escalating debts on people who barely have enough money to get by
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Gillian Guy said: “Government regulations push local authorities to use harsh collection processes. They pile rapidly-escalating debts on people who barely have enough money to get by.
“Many people who need our help with council tax arrears have no more than a few pounds spare every month to repay their debts. An unexpected bill for thousands of pounds, accompanied by legal threats and bailiff action, is terrifying for the person concerned and ineffective for the council trying to recover the debt.