Counties warn against a blanket council tax deferral scheme

By Laura Sharman | 08 April 2020

County councils have warned that a blanket council tax deferral scheme could create significant financial problems for local government.

The warning comes after several councils announced residents could delay their first council tax payment until May or June.

However, the County Councils Network (CCN) warned that this could cause a serious cash flow problem for councils and impact on delivering frontline services.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the CCN, said: ‘We recognise and understand the motivation behind these schemes to provide financial relief for households, and some arrangements can be considered on a case-by-case basis for the most vulnerable and those in the greatest need.

’However, a blanket deferral or non-payment scheme offered across the board could create significant additional financial challenges for local government, reducing cashflow for vital services such as social care which are at the frontline in responding to coronavirus.

Cllr Williams added that any deferral scheme should be agreed by both the district billing authority and the county council.

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