Latest Public Sector News

23.07.12

Welsh councils write off £15m tax and rates debt

Local authorities in Wales have written off over £15m in council tax and business rates debt, new figures suggest.

However, this sum has significantly fallen from previous years; in 2009/10, £38m was owed just in council tax.

The 22 Welsh councils have written off £5.4m in council tax in the last financial year, 2011/12, and £9.6m in business rate debt. This encompasses around 26,000 council tax debts and 3,000 business rate debts in total.

Reasons for the uncollected tax could be down to a transient population as well as people who lost their jobs or benefits. The information on written-off debts was collated by a Freedom of Information request by BBC Wales.

Cardiff Council said that their share of the debt, £1.6m in council tax, amounted to less than 1% of the money owed.

A spokesperson said: “Writing off a debt is always the last resort for the council, when all avenues have been explored including using tracing agents and insolvency action.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said that “councils in Wales need to explain why there is such a difference between their expected income and what they are actually managing to collect”.

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