In our best practice document, “50 ways to save”, we listed improving council tax collection rates and reducing arrears as a key way of making sensible savings to help keep overall council tax bills down and protect frontline services. Every penny of council tax that is not collected means a higher council tax for the law-abiding citizen who does pay on time.
It is important that councils are sympathetic to those in genuine hardship, are proportionate in enforcement and do not overuse bailiffs; indeed, my Department published best guidance on this aspect in 2013.
The cumulative level of council tax arrears in each London Borough is listed in the Table, ranked by amount. Whilst total levels of arrears in London have fallen since 2010, these figures show that there is still a significant source of income for councils, which they could use to support frontline service or further freeze council tax bills.