Perth and Kinross Council-Authority sought to write-off unpaid debts


Members of the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee will next week (Wednesday 17 June) be asked to give authority to Council officers to write-off some outstanding debts of money owed to Perth & Kinross Council.

The debts, which will only be written off for accounting purposes, include:

– £532,091.20 of Council Tax debt (including water and waste water charges), equivalent to around 0.6% of the money due in 2014/15.
– £180,454.06 in service charges dating back to 2005/06, representing just 0.6% of the amount invoiced for services in 2014/15.
–  £60,964.25 in rent charges owed by former tenants. The total rent charges raised last year were approximately £17.3 million, so the debt represents 0.39% of this amount.
– £109,134 in respect of the Car Park Trading Account income. The proposed write off is equivalent to 10.21% of the number of Penalty Charge Notices issued during 2014/15, but as the individual amount of debt is much smaller than other amounts owed it is disproportionately more expensive to pursue that debt than in other areas.

Councillor Ian Miller, Convener of the Strategic Policy & Resources Committee, said: “Every year the Committee is asked to grant authority to write-off certain debts, but with that authority comes a remit to officers that they must continue to pursue all outstanding amounts due.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they pay money owed for public services. I’m really pleased that this is a responsibility the vast majority of Perth and Kinross residents take very seriously, as shown by the continually high recovery levels of Council Tax in this area, which are consistently higher than the national average.

“It is only fair to everyone who does pay their bills that the Council continues to pursue all money owed, as any debt represents funds that could otherwise be used to sustain important services into the future.”