WIGAN council is owed more than £70 million in council tax from residents for the financial year.

This comes as the cost of living crisis deepens with increasing bills, costs and prices are an ever growing burden on families in the borough.

As of the start of October, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the council are owed £73,352,850.80 for 2022/23. They also have £21,966,597.85 due in relation to all other years.

Despite these figures looking high, a council spokesman has claimed that this is normal for this time of year and that it does not impact on the projected £16 million deficit for this financial year.

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The council is aware that the cost of living crisis means that less people will be in a position to pay their tax as a result of skyrocketing prices and bills. To answer this, the council has a system in place to support those who are struggling to pay their bills.

Jo Mitchell, assistant director – customer experience and support, said: “We’re well aware  that the rising cost of living is currently having a major impact on many of our residents – with many individuals and families facing some difficult choices. Through our Here For You campaign we are committed to providing information and advice, and to helping local people discover and access all of the support that is available to them across the borough.

“We urge anyone struggling to pay their council tax to speak to us as soon as possible. Our teams will do all they can to ensure you’re receiving all the support to which you’re entitled, including any available reductions to your bill. 

“Affordable repayment arrangements can also be agreed based on individual circumstances. If you have any worries or concerns about your ability to pay your Council Tax then please call us on 01942 489001 or visit www.wigan.gov.uk/CouncilTax for more information.”

This news comes in the wake of the annual budget last month which proposed a council tax rise of five per cent. However, Wigan Council has not yet announced whether it will raise taxes to meet the cap – but it is something they are considering in order to cover costs of their shrinking budget.