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Govt reduces arrears balance by a million pounds

The Gibraltar Government has said it is on track to recover £1 million of the £6,017,341 rent arrears owed in January of 2016 by the end of this financial year.

In a statement No. 6 Convent Place explained that one year into its rental arrears recovery strategy ‘significant inroads continue to be made’ in the recovery of debt that had accumulated over almost 20 years.

By January 1, 2017, the current balance of the arrears had been reduced to £5.18 million.

The Government said that this has been achieved through a twofold strategy of proactively recovering the existing debt whilst also introducing mechanisms to prevent new arrears being incurred and increasing the debt.

It added that agreements with debtors have also been established to recover a further £1,465,948.69 and payment of this is secured either by standing order or, in the case of public servants, deductions at source from their salaries.

“The Housing Department continues to assist and is actively meeting with people in arrears, and thus far have scheduled meetings with a further 120 tenants to take place by January 31, 2017,” the statement read.

These meetings aim to understand the reasons for arrears having accrued, to reach an affordable repayment agreement with tenants who can pay, and to find effective ways to assist those who genuinely can’t pay.

The Minister for Housing, Samantha Sacramento, said: ‘I am very pleased with the arrears strategy to date and the efforts being made by all.”

“It is encouraging to see that in a relatively short period almost £1 million has already been recovered and a further £1.465 million has been secured in agreements in the first year.”

‘The Housing Department will continue their hard work to ensure the maximum amount is recovered from those in arrears and to prevent them from accruing further debts.”

She added: “As always the aim of this strategy is to recover debts from those that can pay but have decided not to, and of course assist those who are in genuine hardship.”