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Number in council tax arrears has rocketed

The number of people seeking help for council tax arrears has "rocketed" to become the most common type of debt problem, a charity has said.

27 May 2014

Between January and March 2014 Citizens Advice helped 27,000 people who had fallen into council tax arrears - a 17% increase on the same period in 2013.

It comes after council tax benefit changes were introduced in April 2013.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said they formed a "vital part" of cutting the deficit.

As part of the government's welfare changes, council tax benefit was replaced by a council tax support scheme, run by local authorities instead of Whitehall.

The government also cut the budget for the scheme by 10%, or £414m. It said the benefit had been costing taxpayers £4bn a year.

Local authorities set up their own council tax support schemes using the reduced pot of money.

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