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City to write off £800k in bad debts
9:30am Saturday 16th March 2013 in News
SENIOR city councillors will be asked to write off more than £800,000 of bad debt at a meeting next week, more than 50 per cent more than last year.
The city executive board, which will meet on Thursday will be asked to write off money owed to the council totalling £802,721.90.
The amount includes £675,052.74 in unpaid business rates where the debtor cannot be traced or the company has been liquidated, £18,163.04 in unpaid council tax and £109,506.12 in overpaid housing benefit.
TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign manager Eleanor Mc Grath said: “Rresidents will be shocked to find that such a large sum is outstanding, although it’s no wonder some are struggling to pay their council tax.
“It’s important that town halls differentiate between those who are avoiding paying and those who can’t afford to. The latter should be helped with easier ways to pay, while the former should be pursued for outstanding bills, otherwise taxpayers are left picking up the tab.
“As for the overpayment of benefits, taxpayers will struggle to understand how such a large sum can be erroneously paid out, the council needs to get a grip on this problem before more taxpayers’ money is squandered.”
The board has to make a similar decision four times a year. This time last year, the amount written off was £518,012.62.
The meeting will take place at the Town Hall from 5pm.
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