Still too poor to pay: three years of localised council tax support in London

In April 2013, the government abolished council tax benefit and replaced it with locally run council tax support schemes, accompanied by a 10 per cent cut in funding for local authorities.

At the time, CPAG and Z2K were greatly concerned about the financial hardship that this would cause many of London’s poorest residents and the impact this would have on local authorities. We set out to provide yearly data and analysis of 33 different London council tax support schemes.

Three years later, our concerns have been justified. This latest report finds:

Over 19,000 low income, sick and disabled Londoners were referred to bailiffs in 2015/16, a 51 per cent increase on the previous year
98,723 Londoners were summonsed to court for arrears in 2015/16, down from 102,204 in 2014/15, however the number of summonses as a proportion of working-age claimants has slightly increased
81,000 claimants were charged a total of £8.8 million in court costs. Since 2014/15, this is an increase of 10,000 claimants and £400,000 in court costs.