Pensioners overpay council tax by £4.5bn

02 February 2006
British pensioners have overpaid by almost £4.5 billion in council tax, according to new figures.

Around two million pensioners did not claim council tax benefit – worth an estimated £548 each, according to a recent study.

Since 1997, the amount of unclaimed council tax benefit is valued at around £4,680 million.

Eight years ago, 1.2 million pensioners did not claim their benefit and this figure rose steadily to stand at 2.1 million people in 2003, meaning that 47 per cent of pensioners who are eligible are missing out.

"Since 1997, millions of pensioners have paid hundreds if not thousands of pounds in council tax they need not have," said David Laws, work and pensions spokesman for the Liberal Democrats.

"Many will have paid this deeply unfair tax because they are put off by an eye-watering complex benefit system.

"The government either doesn't care or is too afraid to introduce real reform."

To read more Pension News, click here.

track© Adfero Ltd