Local councils worried about council tax rebate scams
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This support is being provided to low income households who are struggling with the current cost of living crisis. Households are currently experiencing a double whammy of seven percent inflation and an increase in the energy price cap. Support schemes, such as the council tax rebate, have been created to address this vital issue.
Overall, every Briton in these tax brackets makes up 80 percent of all people in the country, according to Government statistics.
However, many people are unable to claim assistance from the £150 discount but can get £40 in support from elsewhere.
It is being provided by the Government’s discretionary fund which has recently been given a £144million boost.
While there is no set date for when people will be able to claim their £40 from this fund, the money must be spent by November 30, 2022.
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Around 300 councils across the UK will be responsible for handing out cash from this scheme to those who live in their local area.
One of the reasons the discretionary fund exists is because some households are unable to claim support from the £150 council tax rebate.
This is because the discount is only extended to households in council tax bands A to D, disenfranchising many people.
In recognition of this, households in tax bands E to H will be able to receive a £40 boost if they miss out on this rebate.
In its announcement of the extra support, the Government explained its reasoning for targeting those who are unable to receive the discount.
The Government stated: “In recognition that billing authorities may wish to provide support to households who are not eligible under the terms of the main scheme, councils will receive a share of a £144million discretionary fund.”
One of the councils responsible for handing out support from the funding is Hackney Council in London.
Ian Williams, the council’s finance and resources boss, outlined why support is necessary for supporting vulnerable households.
Mr Williams explained: “We know that many families in Hackney are struggling with the rising cost of living, and particularly higher energy bills this month.
“Using our discretionary funding in this way will mean that those most at risk from rising bills will get the extra help they need in the simplest way possible.”
Those interested in seeing if they qualify for the extra funding can check their local authority to see if they are eligible.
Offering advice to those concerned about the cost of living crisis, Uswitch stated: “Look out for your £150 council tax rebate in April, and keep the money somewhere safe so you can put it towards your energy bills.
“People who pay by direct debit will automatically get this rebate paid directly into their account, so it is worth considering setting up a direct debit to receive the rebate quicker.
“Those who pay by other methods will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim.
“If you are in a higher council tax band and not eligible for the rebate, keep an eye out for the discretionary £140million fund being set up to help those who are struggling.”
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