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Confusion over £745 million in outstanding council taxes

The GMB Union has put local councils across the UK on red alert with revelations that last year saw some £745 million of council tax remain outstanding. While the figure is down for the £760 million reported for the previous year there is some confusion as to whether or not the figure is a true reflection of he situation.

Of the figures collated by the GMB it appears that Glasgow tops the league table with some £22 million outstanding, Birmingham has £16 million to collect, Edinburgh £13 million and Manchester an alarming £12 million. Asked to comment on the figures a Local Government Association official claimed that yet again the GMB survey has distorted the amounts in question.

The councils claim that the amounts outstanding are very often collected after the end of the council tax year, suggesting that 97% of all council tax is collected at some stage. Whether this 97% figure would stand up to close scrutiny remains to be seen with the truth probably being somewhere between the figures quoted by the council and the GMB.

Surely someone will pick up on the fact that Scotland is very prominent on the list of uncollected taxes and question the wisdom of the government introducing a new scheme (the local income tax scheme) before they have got their house in order?

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