Pathhead woman’s “ridiculous” historic poll tax bill

Marie Stevenson
Marie Stevenson

A Pathhead woman has hit out at the council after she had a poll tax bill of £270 from 1992 taken from a credit she recently received.

Marie Stevenson (48), a part-time cleaning supervisor at Tynewater Primary School, was hit with a bill for the set-to-be-abolished tax while she was in credit with the local authority.

She said: “I phoned up the council to check my rent and they told me I was £105 in credit. I told them to send me a cheque as I was going to spend money on a new carpet.

“So I then phoned back as it hadn’t arrived but they told me they took it back for a Community Charge from 1992 of £270! I think it’s a disgrace that they took it off me.”

Although the council then backdated her discretionary housing benefit to cover the outstanding £165, Marie is still angry she wasn’t told about the bill before: “I can honestly say it’s all sorted now, but I still think it’s a disgrace.

“To chase up something from 22 years ago which I wasn’t even aware of is ridiculous. Why do they not inform you and let you pay it over time? Instead of taking it off you as soon as you are in credit. If I had known about it I would have paid it off a fiver a month, say. ”

Midlothian Council said: “The council found out about Mrs Stevenson’s case in early November 2014 and the Scottish Government announced they were abolishing Community Charge debt on December 3. It remains our policy to collect Community Charge debt until the new legislation comes into effect on February 1, 2015 as there is a requirement for local authorities to collect money due.”

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