Why we all need flexible collection policies
for council tax debt

On-demand webinar

How council tax is collected can have an impact on the lives of low-income households. The handling of council tax arrears and the extra costs that can be incurred in the collection process can cause extreme poverty or destitution, and may increase levels of problem debt.

Local authorities in England can choose how to collect council tax, and different best practice models designed to collect from financially vulnerable citizens are emerging. Policy in Practice has reviewed different collection processes across London for the Greater London Authority and evaluated their impact on citizens and councils.

Listen back to hear:

  • Barriers to the adoption of more flexible policies
  • Empirical evidence of the factors influencing collection rates
  • How councils can optimise collection rates whilst also protecting vulnerable citizens
Poll results January webinar
Poll results January webinar
Poll results January webinar
Poll results January webinar

The research showed that collection policies could be fairer without an adverse effect on collection rates.
Sara KhanSenior Projects and Policy Officer, Greater London Authority

A new approach to the collection of council tax in London

Paul Howarth looks at new research about the collection of council tax in London commissioned by the Greater London Authority and published by Policy in Practice today.

Council Tax debt collection and low-income Londoners

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has commissioned Policy in Practice to undertake an evaluation of flexible, customer-centric debt collection practices for low-income Londoners. This project focuses on deepening the GLA’s understanding of the business case for council tax collection practices that more effectively support low-income households.

Register for an upcoming live webinar

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Reducing barriers to work using data led campaigns In September 2023 the UK experienced an economic inactivity rate of 21.3% and an estimated unemployment rate of 4.3%, both of which have increased compared to previous data. Economic inactivity has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, prompting government efforts to integrate this group into the workforce.

Historically, policies under Universal Credit and legacy benefits emphasised pushing people into employment through conditionality and short term measures. Today, both major political parties are exploring ways to facilitate return to work and eliminate barriers to employment. However, the government is also extending conditionality and adopting a tougher stance on sanctions for a broader range of people.

Haringey is home to a young, ethnically diverse population. In June 2023, almost one fifth of those between 16 to 65 were on Universal Credit. Nearly 7% of residents over 16 were claiming unemployment related benefits, a figure above the London average of 4.7% and the 3rd highest rate of all UK councils

Haringey Council wanted to find ways to overcome barriers to employment for young people and families with children and has used data to achieve success with its employment support programmes.

Join this webinar to learn:

- The new carrot and stick policy changes designed to break down barriers to work and reduce economic inactivity
- What Haringey Council did to increase take up of free childcare for two year olds to 70%
- How Haringey Council successfully helped 95 NEETs on their employment journey

With guest speakers from Haringey Council
29/11/202310:30 GMT1.3 hours
Policy review of 2023 and what 2024 may hold Join our last webinar of 2023 to hear our policy analysts review 2023's policy changes and big issues, from the ongoing cost of living and energy crises to the funding of local government and the Autumn Statement.

We will highlight our policy findings from the year including our work that revealed that millions of households across the UK are missing out on £19 billion of support each year.

We'll look at the role that data is playing in helping leading organisations to tackle these issues.

Through case studies of different types of households we'll look at what the changes mean for families now, and what 2024 has in store.

Along the way we'll share the positive impact that organisations we work with ​are having, and give practical solutions that others can adopt.
6/12/202310:30 GMT1.3 hours
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