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Council loses £14.5million in unpaid tax
Friday, 27 July 2012
HAVERING Council has lost out on £14.5million this year.
The money should have come from residents through their council tax bill.
Unpaid council tax in 2009 amounted to £11.7m, increasing to £13.3million in 2010 and then to £14.5 million in 2011.
The authority insisted it was working hard to recoup losses.
Council chiefs said the borough was in the top half of all London authorities for the high level of council tax collected.
Councillor Michael Armstrong, cabinet member for customer services, said: “Our Council Tax collection rate for the last year has been nearly 97 per cent.
“Last year a team was set up specifically to target people with longstanding debt which has already seen the outstanding debt reduced.
“We have also run specific campaigns to target people fraudulently.”
But leader of the opposition, Councillor Clarence Barrett of the Residents Association, was concerned about the ever increasing level of council tax owed to the authority.
He said: “No matter how much this administration say they are great at collecting council tax, these figures speak for themselves.
“Even against the tough economic pressures we all face, a 25 per cent increase in council tax debt over three years is extremely worrying.
“We need to separate out those who can’t pay from those who won’t pay and focus our energies on recovering these huge amounts from the latter category.”
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