Scots missing council tax payments when short of money before payday
27 July 2019, 06:23 | Updated: 27 July 2019, 06:26
Around a quarter of working people in Scotland who ran out of money before payday missed making their council tax payment as a result, a study suggests.
Research carried out for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) by YouGov indicates that 477 out of 983 workers (in an online survey of 2,078 adults) had experienced running out of money before being paid.
Of those, 25% had missed making the payment at least once, whilst 8% said they had missed it more than six times.
The study, carried out between March 12 and March 23 this year, was published as CAS encourages people to check their eligibility for a council tax reduction.
Figures published by the Scottish government in June suggested that there are 7,110 fewer households claiming the reduction compared to March 2018.
Myles Fitt, the charity's financial health spokesman, said: "The Citizens Advice network helps and advocates hundreds of thousands of Scots each year and we frequently see cases around council tax debt and people struggling with the cost of living generally.
"This further research suggests that people who are struggling to make it to pay day will miss a council tax payment as a result.
"This creates a vicious circle, with our advisers having to help thousands of people with council tax debt.
"Yet some people could be benefiting from not having to pay full council tax if they qualify for a reduction and this will help to manage their council tax bills."
He added: "Recent evidence that shows there is a strong lack of public awareness around eligibility for the council tax reduction scheme, which can be worth on average £700 per year.
"We want to put money back in people's pockets, which is why we have an online council tax tool that can help people get the exemptions, discounts and reductions that they are entitled to at checkmycounciltax.scot.
"Alternatively, people can call our financial health check team for free or visit their local Citizen's Advice Bureau for face-to-face help."
A spokesman for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said: "We would encourage anyone who anticipates they will not be able to make their council tax payment to contact either their council or their local Citizen's Advice Bureau to determine whether they are entitled to a reduction."