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Meticulous in pursuit of debt; Letters.

but just wilfully refuse to pay us. When people in genuine difficulties come to us we do, however, work with them to find new arrangements to help them clear their debt - but we never just let them off.

No council - nor any business - can recover every penny owing to it. Although we pursue debtors at length, in some cases there comes a time when it is no longer economically viable to pursue that debt any longer - for example, when a debtor dies or a business goes bust. When we write off debt it is very often debt that we have pursued over many years and does not relate to one specific year.

In 2014/15 we collected 96.9% of our council tax and 99.1% of our business rates in year - the best performance in the region and of any core city - and we are on track to maintain this high level of performance in the current year.

However, it must be said that the Government's austerity programme coupled with its welfare reforms are plunging more people into debt and making our job of pursuing that debt even tougher.

CLLR VERONICA DUNN, Cabinet Member for Resources IN response to the letter about Newcastle City Council writing off debt, I wish to make the following points.

Nothing could be further from the truth to suggest we "blatantly" write off debt. We have to save PS32m next year as a result of savage government cuts and we are meticulous in how we pursue debtors, as it is this income which helps us keep frontline services going in very difficult circumstances.

Like all councils we follow a protocol when seeking to recoup money owed to us, which includes taking people to court and using bailiffs where people have the money

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2016
Words:298
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