Welsh councils have written off nearly £90 million in debts

Welsh councils have written off nearly £90 million in debts

Minutes of the hybrid meeting of the RCTC Cabinet held on Monday, 5 December 2022 at 1.00 pm

RCTC Write Off of Irrecoverable Debts But how much?

Access to this information is exempt

Following the consideration of the report of the Director, Finance and Digital Services containing exempt information as defined in Paragraph 14 of Part 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act, 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to the financial affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information), Cabinet RESOLVED:

1. to write off the accounts set out in the attached schedule to the appropriate Bad Debt Provision contained within the Council’s accounts (if further information on any debt becomes available, payment will be pursued).

This meeting closed at 1.20 pm Cllr A Morgan Chairman.

Welsh Conservative research has revealed that over the last 5 financial years, Welsh councils have written off at least £86,990,313 in debts, including council tax, benefits, rental income, non-domestic rates, court costs, invoices and various debtors.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Local Government Minister, Sam Rowlands MS said:

“While debts are often written off with good reason, the huge sums of money currently being lost by some councils raises serious questions.

“The Labour Government need to look into whether or not there is a cost benefit to pursuing some of these debts more vigorously to ease the pressure on council budgets and by extension the taxpayer.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Finance Minister, Peter Fox MS added:

“This substantial amount of written off debt adds further argument against the council tax rises we will see across Wales this year of up to 12.5%.

“Given that Welsh councils have over £2 billion in useable reserves and have written off tens of millions, the Labour Government need to urgently review the situation to see if their assistance can allow excess funds to be mobilised to ease the pressure on hardworking bill payers.”

As part of the Welsh Conservative action plan, the party has called for a proportion of council reserves, above a threshold, to be used to freeze council tax over the next two years.

Particularly shocking totals include: the over £19 million written off by Cardiff Council and the nearly £13 million written off by Swansea Council, in the last 5 years.

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