Newcastle signs up to tax protocol

Newcastle City Council has signed up to the Citizen’s Advice Council Tax Protocol to show its commitment to collecting the debt in a fair and responsible manner.

Like all local authorities, the council has a legal duty to collect the tax, but recognises it can recoup the debt by working with families while preventing them getting into further financial difficulties.

The protocol ensures that the council pledges to continue improving information to council tax payers so they can understand the billing process. The council has reiterated that using Bailiffs is a last resort and used only when all other methods have failed.

Veronica Dunn, cabinet member for Resources, said: “While the vast majority of people can pay their council tax, more and more are struggling with bills, rents and mortgages. Low wages and benefit changes can make things hard and sometimes people do slip behind with their payments.

“Council tax is an important bill to pay, that’s why we urge people who get into problems to contact the council as soon as possible. We have a duty to collect the tax but where people are in genuine difficulties, we also have a moral duty to help them. We don’t want to make their situation worse, but we do use council tax to fund vital services, so we like to strike a balance. I am pleased to sign this Council Tax Protocol. It shows our commitment to clear communication, listening to people in tough times and helping them find a way forward that is good for them and good for the local authority.”

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