Credit card checks in bid to catch Welwyn Hatfield’s council tax cheats

PUBLISHED: 06:25 10 October 2011

Council tax

Council tax

Archant

A PRIVATE company is set to snoop at residents’ credit card bills in a bid to track down council tax cheats.

Welwyn Hatfield Council is looking to employ a company to detect if people are claiming single person discounts they are not entitled to.

Residents who live alone in a property are given a 25 per cent discount on their council tax bill.

The council says it is duty-bound to take “necessary steps” to seek out those claiming illegally.

The specialist contractor, charging around £4,500, will use data, such as two credit cards registered at one address and other methods, to identify potential illegimate claimants.

A council spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether the council would be able to see details of what residents spent on their credit cards, but said they would adhere to data protection laws.

The council estimates an eight per cent success rate resulting in an additional £383,865 being raised, of which 13 per cent would be kept by the borough and the rest distribied to parish and town councils (where applicable), county council and police authority.


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