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Consumer Services: "Debt affects all areas of your life"

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.

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Council Tax Arrears: What your council is owed

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

Council tax investigation reveals huge arrears

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.

After pasty tax row, what about sports drinks?

The Chancellors's plan to put VAT of 20% on all hot pasties and sausage rolls led to a determined campaign, spearheaded by Greggs the Bakers, which eventually saw ministers revise their plans to cover only those baked products that are deliberately kept warm and not those that cool down naturally.

Well after pastytax, how about further complications when it comes to determining whether a sports drink is purely for quenching your thirst or has some added nutritional value..Confused ?

Maybe this Commons exchange between the Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell and Treasury Minister David Gauke will help to clarify the new rules!!

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