'Huge' rise in help for council tax arrears
A major debt charity has reported a "huge" increase in the number of people seeking help for council tax arrears.16 March 2014
The charity StepChange said there had been a 77% rise in the number of households needing advice over the last year.
It said one reason was the changes to council tax benefit, introduced as part of the government's welfare reforms in April 2013.
The government said the benefit had been costing taxpayers £4bn a year.
In 2012 StepChange said it helped 25,500 people who had fallen behind with their council tax.
But in 2013 it said that number rose to 45,561.
On average, clients in arrears with council tax were £102 short of the money they needed.