Community Charge Debt Bill Given Go-Ahead from MSPs

22.01.2015

Legislation that would end the collection of historical Community Charge (commonly known as the poll tax) debt in Scotland has been supported in a report by Holyrood’s Finance Committee.

The Bill was introduced following reports that after the Scottish Independence Referendum that electoral roll data might be used by councils to pursue outstanding debts, including poll tax debt. The Committee has asked for further details of the use of electoral roll information for this purpose. 

Convener of the Finance Committee, Kenneth Gibson MSP said: 

“More than 20 years after the poll tax was scrapped, this Bill will end the requirement for local authorities to pursue historic poll tax debt.” 

In supporting the principles of this legislation, the Committee has also asked for further information to be provided in relation to the financial information that was requested from local authorities and the savings that local authorities can expect to make as a result of no longer having to collect outstanding Community Charge debts. 

Mr Gibson continued: 

“I expect to see further detail of the costs and savings relating to the Bill as it continues its passage through the Parliament.” 

During its inquiry, the committee received a number of submissions and heard evidence from local authorities, COSLA and the Scottish Government.

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