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Carers UK responds to new research on Council Tax arrears

11 October 2013

New research published in the Mirror today suggests that over 2000 carers have been sent court summonses for unpaid Council Tax since the changes to Council Tax Benefit introduced in April.

The Mirror reports the results of a Freedom of Information request answered by 112 councils which found 156,563 summonses for non-payment have been issued since April. This included 2,153 carers and 11,830 disabled people.

Carers UK's own research on the impact of the Bedroom Tax on over 100 carers found that nearly a third (29%) of those affected also faced additional higher Council Tax Bills as a result of changes to Council Tax Benefit.

Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy, Carers UK said: “The Government argues that this policy is designed to reduce long-term benefits claims and encourage people to work. Yet it is hitting carers providing 24/7 care to older parents, severely ill partners or disabled children – many  have given up their careers to care, are unable to work and already struggling financially. It is penalising families for caring for their loved ones, and thousands now face financial breaking point. This short-sighted policy could result in carers being unable to continue to care for ill or disabled relatives – on top of the personal costs to them, the bill for social care services having to step in would vastly outweigh the money saved by these cuts.”   

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