Challenging Camden to reveal the human cost of Council Tax regime

I’m challenging Camden Council to reveal how many of Camden’s poorest families have faced court summons and bailiff visits as a result of changes to the Council Tax benefit system.

I spoke earlier this year at the Council’s budget meeting to call for legal costs to be waived in cases where people forced to pay a proportion of Council Tax despite having no income, and for bailiff visits to be prevented.

A new report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows that 4,747 households receiving council tax support in Camden have slipped into arrears this year, up from 4,360 reported to the charity last year.

Camden had previously revealed that while no local residents had been referred to bailiffs last year, over 3,000 had been charged legal costs, but this year has not provided CPAG with the info they need to see the impact.

So now I’ve submitted a formal request for Camden to reveal the number of households referred to bailiffs and charged costs in the past year, to get a true picture of the anxiety and hardship caused. And I’ve reiterated my concerns that legal costs shouldn’t be charged. It’s shocking that this year Camden appears to not even be monitoring the number of council tax support claimants being faced by court proceedings and bailiffs.

Watch my speech to the Council on the budget: