Has your Council Tax bill increased significantly for no reason? Has the amount of your Council Tax reduction been cut drastically even though your circumstances have not changed?
If so – challenge the decision! ECAP was approached for support by someone who was on a very low income but whose Council Tax Reduction had been slashed and their bill therefore greatly increased. They had rung City of Edinburgh Council to query this – the Council gave an assurance that everything was in order.
ECAP rang the Council and pointed out it made no sense for someone’s Council Tax Reduction to be drastically cut when their circumstances had not changed. The Council then told us that they had made a mistake . The DWP had contacted the Council to inform them of the person’s benefits income – but the Council had counted this income twice. So the Council did their calculations based on the wrong figures – and this caused the Council to issue a massive bill, much higher than it should have been.
As a result of ECAP’s phone call, City of Edinburgh Council have now issued a much-reduced bill, restoring the Council Tax Reduction which had applied before the mistake.
We asked the Council – could this mistake have happened to other people? “Oh yes it happens a lot,” the Council informed us. “It happens all the time, especially for people on Universal Credit.”
ECAP are taking this up with the Council. As people are slammed by the cost of living crisis and soaring energy bills it is outrageous that the Council are issuing inflated Council Tax bills for the wrong amount. The responsibility for this lies with Councillors and top management and they should be forced to sort out their systems which are not fit for purpose.
* If you are being harassed for Council Tax or other debt from businesses or the authorities, then seek support from ECAP or a similar organisation. We have supported people to gain an agreement that their debt is to be paid off by very small monthly instalments and occasionally have even managed to have the debt written off. If you just can’t pay we can also give advice on ways to make it more difficult for the sheriff officers to enforce the debt. See our article Debt Worries? Resist debt!