Council Tax: Check to Save
In 2019, clients who access our advice services seeking advice on their Council Tax debt hold a combined debt value of £6.9 million. Our evidence demonstrates that people pay other debts, like guarantor loans, credit cards and catalogues, instead of their Council Tax. It is not unusual for people to pay doorstep loans or Brighthouse for household goods whilst rent and council tax arrears build up. This isn’t helped by a perception that local authorities will not evict non-paying tenants with vulnerabilities and that the council tax doesn’t have to be paid or can be made up later in the year.
During 2019 almost 2,250 bureaux clients received advice in relation to over £6.9 million in council tax related debt. Across those clients, that's over £3,000 per person. This is significantly larger than the average Council Tax dwelling for the country, which according to the most recent Scottish Government figures stands at £1,147.
- Raise awareness of council tax debt as an issue for our clients and public and empower people to take action.
- Raise awareness of council tax reduction, discounts and exemption – which remain under claimed compared to the system it replaced in 2013.
- Promote our online Council Tax tool to the public and promote better use of the tool in a bureau setting.
Ultimately, we know that people in Scotland who use our advice services often don’t have enough money to make ends meet and this perpetuates the cycle of debt. This campaign aims to create a space for people to talk about their Council Tax debt and to investigate their entitlements.
Join the campaign
As part of this campaign, we will be working alongside organisations to support people across Scotland access the council tax entitlements they are due. We want to ensure that individuals are who are in council tax debt seek specialist advice at their local bureau.
Our campaign resources page is now live. You can download free campaign resources to support you in running your Check to Save campaign events and raise awareness of Council Tax reduction, discounts and exemptions. If you are a Citizens Advice Bureau, you can order and download campaign materials on BrandBase.
If you have any questions on the campaign, please contact Emily Liddle, Senior Campaigns Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org