I posted in detail about how on moving I muddled my Council Tax and was astonished at the speed with which Edinburgh City Council set the bailiffs upon me. Through my local MP I have now received clarification that Edinburgh City Council take people to court as soon as their payment is 42 days late.
I find that absolutely incredible. People are human, they make mistakes, they may be temporarily short of cash. I cannot think of any other body that is so aggressive in subjecting people to the judicial system for a small delay. No commercial company would dream of taking people to court for just being 42 days late, the utility companies and banks would in fact not to be allowed to do so by regulators and the inland revenue certainly are much less predatory.
Do not misunderstand me. People should pay their tax, on time. I tried to pay mine 46 days late for which I apologise and am happy to accept a late payment penalty. But I can think of absolutely no reason why it was necessary to take me to court for paying my Council Tax in May instead of April.
Actually I can think of one reason – to make enormous money for Scott & Co, the bailiffs. I tried to pay by online direct debit on 25 May, not knowing that on 19 May Edinburgh Council had already referred me to court. My payment appeared accepted and I got a confirmation number from Edinburgh City Council. Three days later, on 28 May, they obtained a court warrant against me. Edinburgh City Council have not taken any payment from my direct debit and they refuse to take any payment from my direct debit. They both refuse to take the payment and at the same time continue to harass me for non-payment.
The reason is they have no interest in collecting my tax. What they want is to make money for Scott & Co., a private company owned by an extremely wealthy husband and wife partnership. I cannot now pay Edinburgh City Council but have to make the payment to this private company including their exorbitant fees.
I have no objection to paying any late penalty to Edinburgh City Council, but when any City Council in Scotland is primarily interested in channeling money to a private company and making millionaire parasites richer, then I look at the size of the houses and value of the cars of councillors, ex-councillors, and senior officials and I ponder, deeply.