Problems with council tax arrears are understood to be worsening across Scotland in the early weeks of 2022.
According to the charity Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), there are more and more Scots worried about how they’ll deal with their council tax debts with each year that passes.
In fact, the organisation has cited council tax arrears as the biggest debt issue that people are typically dealing with when they approach CAS for advice on personal finance problems.
Millions of pounds in council tax debts are known to have been racked up by households across Scotland during the first year of the pandemic and the early data on the subject for 2021/22 has been described by CAS as “worrying”.
The charity is concerned that a large and growing number of Scottish households will find themselves under significant pressure financially in the early weeks and months of this year.
Council tax bills are one part of the picture but inflation is pushing up everyday expenses nationwide and millions of people on benefits have seen their incomes cut in recent months.
“This winter is set to be really challenging for so many families across Scotland,” said CAS’ financial health spokesperson Miles Fitt.
“The combination of rising energy bills, the impact on incomes from the end of furlough and the £20 weekly reduction in Universal Credit has created a perfect financial storm for the thousands of households who were already experiencing money problems or who were just managing to get by.”
The issue of energy bills has emerged as an increasingly significant one for households across the UK recently with prices for electricity and gas supplies expected to rise further over the course of this year.
Recent research commissioned by CAS suggested that as many as one in three people in Scotland already find their energy bills effectively unaffordable.
The charity’s advice is to reach out for help and support from third party experts if you are finding it tough to cover the costs of your energy bills or to pay off you council tax debts.
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