Council Tax Bills To Rise

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Council tax bills in England will increase by an average of 4.5% from April, reaching more than £1,800 in some regions, research suggests.

It is the second highest rise in a decade, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) said.

The Local Government Association said cuts had left councils “little choice”.

The government said they were “responsible for managing their own resources.”

A survey of 312 councils by Cipfa found eight out of 10 will impose the maximum increase permitted.

Local authorities in England are allowed to raise their council tax by 2.99%, plus a further 2% if they provide social care. Any that want to exceed this must hold a referendum.

Cipfa said the annual Band D bill would rise by an average of £75.60.

The increase varies from an average of £71 in London to £86 in the north-east.

Funding for the police makes up about a third of the increase, with police and crime commissioners permitted to double their precept from £12 to £24.

Frequently Asked Questions

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In 2018-19 bills increased by an average of 5.1%, the largest rise for 10 years.

The effect of the referendum cap meant that bills fell in real terms between 2011 and 2015 because they did not increase in line with inflation.

Gloucestershire County Council was one of the authorities to approve the full 4.99% increase.

Lewisham in London, Birmingham City Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Kent County Council are among those where council tax will rise by 4.99%.

Those not rising by the maximum include Cornwall (3.99%) and York, which voted for a 3.25% increase.

Rob Whiteman, chief executive of Cipfa, said the increase was a reflection of the “incredible” financial pressures faced by local authorities and the police.

“Local authorities have faced the most significant cuts to spending over the last ten years,” Mr Whiteman said.

“Despite the government’s announcement that austerity is ending, for local authorities this is clearly not the case.”

Councillor Richard Watts from the Local Government Association said councils had lost “60p out of every £1” the government had provided for services since 2010.

“Faced with such funding pressures, many councils feel they have little choice but to ask residents to pay more council tax again this year to help them try to protect their local services,” he said.

Frequently Asked Questions

Help With Council Tax – Council Tax Bands – How Is Council Tax Paid – Council Tax Reduction – Council Tax Bill WrongCan’t Pay Council TaxCouncil Tax ArrearsDealing With Bailiffs

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said: “Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources.

“Taxpayers can veto excessive increases via a local referendum.”

The local referendum rule only applies in England. The National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament have the power to cap local authorities’ council tax rises.

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Dealing With Bailiffs

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It’s easy to brush aside debts and push them under the carpet until the day comes that a bailiff turns up at your door without any prior notice, It doesn’t matter who you are as nobody seems immune with a string of celebrities who are in the public eye having recently had a visit from a bailiff for outstanding debts: Katie Price , Suzanne Shaw and More

There has been a alarming rise in stories such as ‘Debt Killed My Dad’ and more recently the documentary showing true life event of Jerome Rogers ‘Killed By My Debt‘ highlights the rise in poor practices being carried out by bailiffs

Here are some tips and advice how to deal with the bailiffs and your rights. We are always more than happy to deal with them for free 0800 088 2599  or Try Our Debt Free Calculator

The Bailiffs Are At My Door – What Can I Do?

When people are living in debt, commonly the biggest fear they seem to have is answering the door to be greeted by bailiffs. The thought of having a bailiff break in to your home to take property is a terrifying thought, yet unrealistic at the same time. They are not actually allowed to do this. Bailiffs have to follow a specific procedure which actually includes pre warning you about their plan to arrive at your home.

Bailiffs and debt collectors – what’s the difference?

Bailiffs are employed by the courts to collect certain types of debt. However, they are different to debt collectors. A debt collector can come to your home to query about your debt at any time; however they have no rights to take any of your assets. Bailiffs can come to collect debts such as; parking fines, child maintenance arrears, tax arrears and CCJ’s (County Court Judgements). For a bailiff to visit your home your creditor(s) must have sent you a final demand and a weeks’ notice that the bailiffs will be paying you a visit.

Do I have to let the bailiffs in?

It’s important to know your rights when it comes to bailiffs. You do not legally have to let them into your home. However, there are certain situations in which a bailiff can use force to enter your home if you refuse to let them in. If a bailiff has been granted a right to force entry this isn’t to say they can push past you or break a window to gain entry. They can break a door lock or remove a lock on your gate to get in though. Bailiffs are only allowed to enter your home by entering normally (they cannot climb through your kitchen window) and they are restricted to certain hours which they enter your home.

What do I do when they arrive?

Firstly, you can ask for their ID and proof of authorisation. This way you can check they are actually bailiffs and not debt collectors. Do not let them in; you can talk to the bailiff through your letterbox to discuss your rights. Also remember that you must have had at least 7 days’ notice of their arrival.

If you do open your door, you can refuse to let them in your home and block the bailiffs’ entrance. If you can afford to do so, you can offer to make some form of payment to the bailiff. However, you must always ask for a receipt and do this outside your home. If this is unrealistic and you cannot afford to make a payment to the bailiff, you should ask them to leave. You can tell them that you will contact your creditor(s) to make a payment towards your debt however you will still have to pay the bailiff fees.

What can the bailiffs take?

Bailiffs cannot take everything, and they can only take your belongings. You must prove that any other items do not belong to you however. Anything used for self-employed work including tools, phones and computers (if they’re worth less than £1350), items which aren’t worth much, any items which belong to or are only used by a child, items needed to care for an elderly or sick person and items needed for day to day lives of you and your family cannot be taken by the bailiffs.

You need to take action!

The threat of bailiffs arriving is a sign that you need to help manage your debts. It’s important to act quickly to avoid worsening the situation. It’s not something you can put to the back of your mind. Pay what you can towards your debts and contact your creditors to explain your situation. If the thought of having to talk to your creditors worries you, or you need expert help you need to talk to a specialist company such as ourselves. We are experts in negotiating with your creditors and we can start working with you as soon as the call has ended!

More FAQs 

There are ways out of debt and you are not alone! Call us today on 0800 088 2599 or alternatively, click the button below to request a call back and get the help which you need.

For more advice Try Our Debt Free Calculator or call their advisers on 24 hour Freephone: 0800 088 2599

#Write off Debts   #Stop Creditor Pressure   #Lower Your Monthly Repayments   #Interest and Charges Frozen   #Free Impartial Advice   #Become Debt Free  #BeatTheBailiff   #KnowYourRights