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.
Why we all need flexible collection policies
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
The research showed that collection policies could be fairer without an adverse effect on collection rates.
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
|How the housing crisis has deepened the cost of living crisis
For most people housing is the highest living cost, yet the ongoing housing crisis in the UK is often overlooked when discussing the current cost of living crisis.|
This webinar will explore the policy issues affecting housing affordability for low-income households, examining the scale of the problem as well as what can be done in both the short and long term.
We will highlight important work done by our clients using data to proactively address housing issues.
We will be joined by a leading local authority to discuss a recent project conducted with Policy in Practice that used benefits administration data to identify households in temporary accommodation that could be helped to move into the private rental sector.
Join this webinar to learn:
- How UK housing policy interacts with the cost of living crisis
- How local authorities are using data to proactively tackle housing affordability problems
- Actions you can take now to support your residents dealing with housing issues alongside the cost of living crisis
|20/7/2022||10:30 BST||1.3 hours||Register|
|How to identify and support Just About Managing households using data
The government has said it wants to make life easier for the 'squeezed middle' or people who are just about managing. These are the families who are not rich and they are also not those on the lowest incomes. Despite most being in work, they are struggling to meet their cost of living and it is no wonder.|
The cost of living hit a 30-year high in February with inflation running at 6.2% and outpacing wage growth. Electricity bills were up nearly 20% in the year to January 2022, and gas bills by 28%, with further rises expected. Private rental prices across the UK went up by 2% in the year to January, the highest rate for five years; in the East Midlands that figure was 3.6%.
We know that one in five UK adults (10.3 million people) have less than £100 in savings, one in ten have no savings at all and more than a quarter have less than £500. Many are one broken appliance away from slipping into debt.
Local authorities want to help families who are struggling now to avoid a crisis down the line yet they have little or no visibility over people who are not already claiming benefits. Now though, analysis of other datasets can be used to get a clearer picture of families who are just about managing.
Join this webinar to learn:
- Who is just about managing now but at risk in the future due to the rising cost of living
- Which datasets can be used to identify families in danger of debt
- How local authorities can target support to avert crisis
|21/9/2022||10:30 BST||1.3 hours||Register|