"Councils continue to lead local efforts to beat this disease but are facing increased cost and demand pressures at the same time as experiencing a significant drop in income."
Responding to the report from the Money Advice Trust on council tax debt as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Councils are putting in place a wide range of measures to help residents who are facing financial hardship because of the virus. Some have delayed taking council tax payments for first two months of the year rather than the last and most councils have also suspended recovery action for people with existing arrears.
“Government has provided councils with funding to make deductions from council tax bills for some low-income residents. Many are also offering other hardship and local welfare support. Anyone struggling to pay their council tax bill should contact their council as soon as possible to find out what support is available to them.
“Councils absolutely recognise the pressures that many households will be facing at this difficult time. The LGA and councils are working with the major debt advice charities and a range of other partners to ensure that we can support households in the most effective way possible. This will be particularly crucial as payment holidays and forbearance come to an end.
“Councils continue to lead local efforts to beat this disease but are facing increased cost and demand pressures at the same time as experiencing a significant drop in income. They will need ongoing and consistent funding from government to support communities through this crisis and help them readjust to life after it.”