I would like to make an FOI request for information regarding council tax benefit cuts, rent rises and bedroom tax.
Could I have information regarding the increase in arrears of council tax and rent payment since the schemes began.
I would like a figure re how many households are now in arrears with council tax and rent compared with this time last year.
Also how much money the arrears total is (also compared with 2012) and how much it will cost the council to recover this money.
Also how many residents have been affected by the bedroom tax with regards to having to move out of the area, or to a smaller property, or into private accommodation, or had to receive foodbank support?
Finally could I have a figure on how many residents have applied for the hardship fund, how it will be prioritised and have we started making discretionary hardship fund payments yet?
In respect of Council Tax the following applies in relation to first recovery runs for each year:
Reminders issued 3486 3980
Summons issued 791 1089
Liability Orders obtained 611 777
I must point out that this year we issued summons on 3 June 2013. Last year they were sent on 6 July 2012. Liability Orders last year were obtained on 30 July 2012 whereas this year they were obtained on 24 June 2013. The data above is not therefore comparable as taxpayers had several more weeks to pay their Council Tax, before recovery action was taken, in 2012 than in 2013.
I can also advise the following concerning hardship payments:-:
Number of residents that have applied for Discretionary Hardship Payments/Exceptional Hardship payments/Discretionary Housing Payments = 139 as of 14/06/2013
How will DHF/DHP/EHF be prioritised? – please see attached policies.
Have we started making payments yet? – Please see attached spreadsheets.
With regard to your questions concerning rent arrears, this information will be provided separately by the Housing Department.