There is a distinct difference between families who ‘can’t’ pay and families who ‘won’t’ pay, and one of the skills needed by any Certificated Enforcement Agent, is the ability to know the difference.
The Cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Christine Grice, recently went out with Enforcement Agents in Greenwich, looking to see those differences for herself.
The change in Council Tax charges in this area, will see the lowest income families lifted out of paying council tax altogether, which is something that Cllr Grice welcomes.
Councillors in Greenwich unanimously voted through changes which will mean the level of support for working age claimants raises to 100 per cent, from 85.
Removing low income individuals and families from having to pay council tax should take the pressure off these people, who are already coping with the rising cost of living, but what about the country as a whole?
Changes like this in one location can have two outcomes nationally.
Either a shockwave is created whereby surrounding councils and councils further afield start to implement the same measures, or the opposite happens, and other councils remain unmoved, leaving their residents feeling a sense of injustice based on their postcode.
Greenwich Council is led by Conservative Matthew Hartley, who is rightly only concerned with his area.
The benefits, as he sees them, won’t just be felt by the lowest income families, but by the council as well, as in his words...
“this frees up collection resources,”
...meaning that Enforcement Agents can be employed on different assignments, other than the typically slow-moving situations involving unpaid council tax add debtors who can’t afford to pay it.
Those who ‘won’t’ pay their share will still be pursued, which is where the training and experience of Enforcement Agents really comes into its own.
Do you think the changes by Greenwich council are fair? What impact would these have on court enforcement nationally?
Let us know your thoughts!
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