Monday, 3 October 2011

Manchester Labour Council shame as £43m taxes left uncollected

Recently released information shows Manchester’s Labour Council has failed to collect nearly £43million in Council Tax arrears since Council Taxes were introduced. The equivalent of £255 per household with residents.

Manchester City Council has consistently been amongst the worst Councils in the whole country for collecting Council Tax; last year nearly one pound in every ten owed in Council Tax was not collected – depriving the City of nearly £11million. In March this year the Labour Council voted to cut their budget by £109million, resulting in the loss of 1500 jobs, the closure of Libraries and public toilets and putting the future of Sure Start services in the City at risk.

At the time Councillor Bernard Priest, executive member for finance said: "Last year [was] the fourth year in a row that we've improved our collection rate.” Newly obtained figures for the last five years show that uncollected Council Tax arrears for 2010/11 are more than double those of 2006/07. Over £8.75million of council tax from last year still remains uncollected.

Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain who uncovered the information said: “Many Manchester Residents and Families have to make sacrifices to pay their Council Tax. They will be appalled by the Labour Council’s unacceptable incompetence in reclaiming the money it is owed and failure to chase up tax avoiders. “

“Labour's failure to collect what we are owed undermines their argument about the need to make such harsh front line cuts earlier this year. This is money that should have been collected and spent on public services in Manchester."

I obtained this Information through the Freedom of Information Act:

----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Metcalfe
Sent: 23/09/2011 09:44 GDT
To: Councillor Victor Chamberlain
Subject: FOI request
Good morning Councillor Chamberlain.

You made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the following figures:

How much Council Tax has remained uncollected by MCC for each of the last five years

As at 1 September 2011 the figures are

2010/11 £8,767,108
2009/10 £7,178,939
2008/9 £5,857,014
2007/8 £4,699,788
2006/7 £4,016,915

What is the Council's total arrears going back to 1993


1 comment:

  1. This is what the LGA had to say about uncollected council tax in general this year: "Almost all of this money will be collected in the coming months. This is not money that councils are chalking off.

    "At a time when people are really feeling the pinch and the effects of the economic downturn, it is common sense that councils should give local people a little more leeway in collecting council tax."