The Labour candidate for Kettering in the upcoming General Election has revealed he once missed a council tax payment.
Mick Scrimshaw, who is also a Kettering councillor, spoke of his ‘weekly struggle’ in a statement on Facebook today (Monday).
He said: “Six years ago I was made redundant and although I have been self-employed since then, I have also been in financial difficulty since that time - partly because I spent so much of my time working on council issues rather than my day job.
“Last year I missed a direct debit payment and the council subsequently cancelled my direct debit facility and chased me for payment for the entire year’s amount.
“They apparently issue a summons although I never actually saw it, and before it went any further I had already made new arrangements to clear my debt.”
Mr Scrimshaw says he is embarrassed by it, but that it’s a sign of the everyday struggle many people have.
He added: “Of course I’m embarrassed by this, nobody likes being in debt and having household bills piling up on them, but I’m afraid this is a normal state of affairs for a lot of people.
“I literally struggle from week to week and don’t claim any benefits.
“My bills do get paid, but on occasion like many other people struggling in these times, I am sometimes behind.”
Mr Scrimshaw also suggested ‘dirty tricks’ were being played, after revealing the mispayment following a Freedom of Information request from an unknown person.
He said: “If my own incident is used to embarrass my campaign then so be it.
“I am a Labour candidate and spend a fair part of my time dealing with people in financial difficulty for one reason or another and while I’m not happy that I am sometimes in a similar position, I hope at least it means I can understand them.”
A number of people have leapt to the defence of Mr Scrimshaw on social media.
Former Corby MP Andy Sawford said: “Mick, having experienced redundancy myself, I sympathise.
“I guess you’ll feel a bit embarrassed with them making this public, but most people will see it as dirty tricks from the nasty party.
“Keep fighting the good fight, you are a great candidate and we are all proud of you.”
Fiona De Boltz said: “I don’t think I know many people who haven’t at one time or another had some sort of cash flow problem.
“Thanks for your honesty and for all your hard work for our community Mick.”