According to reports in the media earlier this week, data on households requesting advice on debt and debt relief programs has increased by a whopping 77%, when compared to similar statistics from last year. This is the clearest indication yet that British household debt challenges are on the rise.
According to data released by the Institute For Fiscal Studies, four out of five English Local Authorities (LAs) have drastically scaled down entitlement payments for Council Tax Support (CTS) during this financial year. This, in turn, has impacted retirees as well as low-income households significantly.
StepChange, a charity that is closely involved in advising and assisting people who have fallen behind in their dues owed for Council Tax, believes that the issue lies squarely with the governments April 2013 welfare reform program. And IFS confirms that while the Council Tax debt issue is on the rise, the Central government has cut funding for support programs by over 10%.
The statistics, which result from the rules changes and funding cuts, are indeed eye-opening:
- Where, under previous rules, 2m households in England would have been exempt from paying any Council Tax, now over 70% of those same households will be paying some taxes.
- 50% of those same homes will end up paying a minimum of £85 quarterly
- 25% will pay around £170 a quarter
- 10% of them will be making quarterly payments of around £225
With 70% of English LAs having introduced the need for households to pay a residential heating services to low income families. And it is data – cold hard facts – that has brought the problem to light. Without the type of data analysis presented above, such issues often get buried in the back pages of news papers and the media.
But in order to effect change in government fiscal policy, that data analysis must be based on accurate, reliable and consistent data. If the source data cannot be trusted or is skewed, then the analysis will be incorrect, and the conclusions unbelievable. So every effort must be made to ensure the integrity of the underlying data.
It is precisely with that objective in mind that WinPure has developed a series of simple to learn, easy to use tools that can assist governments, commercial agencies and charitable organizations in their data cleansing efforts. By using the fuzzy matching logic and de-duping capability of this suite of applications, institutions can ensure that vital information – including email lists, mailing contacts, and other databases – contain consistent and credible data from which outreach or other key tasks can be expedited.
In order to enable wide adoption of the technology, WinPure has intentionally been developed for use on some of the most commonly accessible platforms such as Windows XP-SP2 / 2003 / Vista / Windows 7 and Windows 8. This means that organizations of all sizes can very easily own the tools and deploy them in their data cleansing strategy.