• STV
  • MySTV

Warrants for council tax arrears rise by 38% in five years

Labour claimed the rise showed many Scots are struggling with the 'cost of living crisis'.

Council tax: Scottish ministers say they have made it 'fairer'.
Council tax: Scottish ministers say they have made it 'fairer'. PA

The number of people issued with warrants for council tax arrears has risen by nearly 40% in the last five years, according to official figures.

A total of 463,729 summary warranted were issued in 2016-17, a 38% increase from the total of 337,089 recorded in 2011-12, according to data from the Accountant in Bankruptcy.

The warrants, which are granted by the court, can see people have their bank accounts frozen and wages arrested.

In addition, sheriff officers can be given the power to remove belongings from someone's home to repay the debt.

Labour claimed the rise in warrants showed many Scots were struggling with the "cost of living crisis".

To tackle this it called on the Scottish Government to scrap the council tax system altogether, saying ministers must do more than "tinker around the edges".

The SNP had pledged to abolish the council tax in its 2007 manifesto, but later dropped the commitment.

Elaine Smith, Labour's spokeswoman for poverty and inequality, hit out and said: "These figures show the failure of the SNP and the Tories to make our economy work for working class people.

"SNP ministers claim that the fundamentals of our economy are strong - but for too many families in Scotland our economy is fundamentally broken."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We know that, under UK Government welfare cuts, money is being taken from the pockets of low income families, pushing them into crisis, debt and poverty. We are spending more than £127m this year to try and mitigate that, and provide vital support for low income households.

"We have made council tax fairer and included a 25% increase to the child allowance in the reforms that were introduced last year. 

"We have extended relief for low to middle income households from the impact of the council tax reforms on properties in bands E-H.

"And we have invested over £1.4bn in the Council Tax Reduction scheme since 2013/14, assisting almost half a million households each year to meet their council tax.

"We have also said that we are committed to making local taxation more progressive and that we are open to further dialogue on options for local tax reform."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.