Bailiffs were instructed to chase unpaid council tax debts at thousands of homes in Bournemouth and Poole last year leaving children “frightened and worried”.And that’s entirely down to their parents and their refusal to settle their bills.
Not the bailiffs. Not the council trying to ensure moochers pay their way.
Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: “Bailiffs should simply not be sent round to families with children.
“Instead, councils should give struggling residents a chance to negotiate affordable repayments, and make sure every family in trouble is offered independent debt advice."Which councils promptly point out that, yes indeed, that is what they do:
Ian Milner, acting executive director of finance at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “We encourage anyone having difficulties with their council tax payments to contact us to discuss the options available to them, including payment plans. We provide numerous opportunities for people to get in touch with us to seek help and advice.”However there comes a times when all avenues are exhausted and – for the sake of the poor bloody taxpayer – the debt must be settled.
And it’s a shame that that means children are ‘worried’ or ‘upset’, but the consequences of that fall squarely on their parents.
Children are not human shields against paying your debts.