As huge numbers of people are left in debt and councils are millions of pounds out of pocket, an investigation by ITV Tyne Tees and Border has revealed local authorities are chasing-up council tax arrears of £116m.
Debt charities say, despite a council tax freeze in many areas, people don't have the money to pay up. Matt Hartley is from the Consumer Credit Counselling service.
An investigation by ITV Tyne Tees and Border has used Freedom of Information requests to reveal local authorities across our region are chasing-up council tax arrears of £116m.
Watch Kenny Toal's investigation here:
The charity Christians Against Poverty has reported a huge increase in the number of people coming through its doors for help. The charity specialises in helping people work out payment plans so they can pay off debts in a manageable way. Jill Wheatley says Council tax arrears are a big issue.
Natalie Joyce from County Durham is like many people caught up in the economic climate. Her company is in administration, her wages are not being paid on time, and she's found herself unable to pay council tax and other bills.
Freedom of Information requests were sent to almost every council in the region. Some were unable to provide exact figures. The full breakdown of council tax arrears from North East councils who responded to our Freedom of Information requests is listed below:
- Durham County Council: £23,320,942
- Newcastle City Council: £15,673,796
- Darlington Borough Council: £4,179, 119
- Sunderland City Council: £9,500,000
- Gateshead Borough Council: £7,025,726
- Northumberland County Council: £12,994,114
An investigation by ITV Tyne Tees has revealed how councils are racking up huge amounts of council tax arrears as more people struggle to pay the bills.
Freedom of information requests to almost every council in the region asking how much outstanding council tax they are chasing highlight the scale of the problem.The total amount outstanding from the councils who responded to our FOI requests is just over £116 million pounds.
The investigation covered councils in the North East, Cumbria and South of Scotland. A third of the total is from the last financial year. It comes as organisations who help people with debt have reported a huge rise in the number of people needing help.