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Debt Collection News Roundup - March 2016

Here at Access Credit Management we pride ourselves on keeping up to date with what’s going on the international debt collection industry.  We aim to bring our readers interesting and relevant news about the sector so once a month we publish a News Roundup.  This should keep you up to speed with all the important happenings in the industry and provide you with a valuable resource that that you can use to stay fully informed of all the latest news.  It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here.  Please join in by adding your comments below the regular news roundup postings or email us if you come across anything that you think we should include.

Firstly, Dundee Council has revealed that it is owed a whopping £67 million through a combination of unpaid council tax, parking fines, rents, rates and other income.  This disclosure takes place a few weeks after councillors agreed to cut their budget by £23 million for the coming year with another £10 million in cuts expected in the following year.  Council bosses insist that they treat debt collection seriously and do all in their power to retrieve the money that is part of the public purse.  It’s likely to be the same story with local authorities across the UK and the spending cuts that we’re now seeing on vital public services may have been avoided if these debts had been paid.  This is a sobering thought for all of us here in the UK – if we want good public services, the money has to come from somewhere.  Owing money to a local authority is tantamount to owing money to everybody in your local authority area.

However, debt support charity, StepChange Debt Charity Scotland says that councils are using “tough, threatening action” against people with council tax debts which is affecting their health.  In a survey, 70% of their Scots clients revealed that they have experienced an increase in stress and anxiety and the charity said that only 7% of respondents claimed that local authorities recommend that they seek debt advice in order to tackle council tax arrears.

It seems that clients with council tax arrears have doubled since 2010 (up from 18% to 36%) and the charity claims that the council tax system does not take enough account of affordability or ability to repay arrears.  Apparently, two thirds of the charity’s clients who contacted their local authority met a “tough demand or threat of enforcement action”.  Councils are being called upon to take a more balanced and fair approach when dealing with council tax arrears.

This just goes to clearly demonstrate that there are two sides to every story.  We all want and expect decent public services here in the UK, but they need to be funded somehow.  We do this via tax systems and when the tax systems are abused, we all suffer with cutbacks and reductions in public spending. Safety Fabrications are dedicated to the manufacture of specialist fabricated items to serve the needs of fall protection and suspended access companies and all those working at height across the UK.