COUNCIL tax confusion has left a hard-working Greenock grandmother almost penniless and forced to rely on a foodbank.

Margaret Blackett says she has 'worked all her days' but has been left with just 2p in her bank account after over £800 - across three separate payments - was taken from her bank account to pay charges.

As far as Margaret was concerned she was up to date with her account and not in arrears.

The keyworker claims she has not missed her regular £170 payment as it is taken from her balance by direct debit each month.

Margaret, who has worked in Inverclyde Royal Hospital for over 25 years, has sought urgent advice but is worried she may have to declare herself bankrupt as a result of the situation.

The 65-year-old told the Tele: "For as long as I can remember I've paid £170 each month - it comes off my wages before I even get them.

"I noticed another £242 come off my account and then a further £428.

"I have worked all my days and now I need to use a foodbank.

"I've never been so upset in my life."

Margaret, mum to Donna and grandmother to Chelsea, says it came 'as a total shock' when she noticed all of the money leaving her account.

She said: "I'm not someone who gets into debt, I've worked hard for all I've got."

Margaret is in talks with local money advice service Financial Fitness who are supporting her.

She added: "It's devastating, I feel sick every time I think about it.

"I'm hoping Financial Fitness will be able to help me as I don't know how I'm going to survive the month."

Inverclyde Council say they cannot comment on Margaret's individual situation.

A spokesperson said: "It would not be appropriate for us to get into a conversation about someone’s personal circumstances.

"We will exhaust every opportunity to allow people to get on top of their debt.

"Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

"That’s why we encourage people to talk to us at the earliest opportunity and we will do everything we can to come to an arrangement.

"It’s not in anyone’s interests for debt to get out of hand and for enforcement action to be taken but there comes a point where we are left with no choice.

"We don’t want to take action so that’s why the best thing to do is speak to us as soon as possible.

"Our council tax debt recovery team is always available to discuss debt repayment arrangements by calling 01475 712369.

"Inverclyde Advice First can also support anyone struggling with debt by calling 01475 715299."