On February 10th, Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes confirmed a £290 million package of support for people affected by rising costs of living, including a council tax rebate for some households in Scotland.
This comes as costs of living continue to rise, with people facing higher taxes and rising costs for food and other essential items.
For example, Ofgem announced that the average energy bill in the UK will rise by just under £700 annually after a 54% increase to the price cap.
In England, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised a £150 council tax rebate for most households south of the border.
Returned nations also began similar plans for their own citizens.
Here’s what you need to know.
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How much is the council tax rebates in Scotland?
Ms Forbes announced £150 council tax rebates for eligible households.
Announcing the financial support measures, she said: “Firstly, we will provide £150 to every household in receipt of council tax reduction in all council tax bands.
“The council tax reduction scheme already identifies households in greatest need and will allow us to target this intervention.
“Secondly, I will provide local authorities with funding to spend on £150 to other occupied households in bands A to D in Scotland.”
The money will either be given as a direct payment by local authorities or used as credit towards council tax bills, Ms Forbes said.
The Finance Secretary also announced an additional £10 million for the Fuel Insecurity Fund “to help households at risk of self-disconnection, or self-rationing their energy use, due to unaffordable fuel costs”.
For businesses, Ms Forbes said there will be an additional £16 million for cultural events that have faced cancellations, £7.5 million for Scottish tour operators, £3.5 million for outbound travel agents, and £3 million towards city center recovery to improve footfall.
One-off grants worth a total of £6.5 million will be made available for the childcare sector, including childminders.
Am I eligible for the council tax rebate in Scotland?
All households in bands A to D will receive a £150 payment or discount from their council tax bill, as will those in other bands who already qualify for reduced rates.
Ms Forbes said it means 73% of Scottish households – about 1.85 million people – would receive the money.
But she admitted it is an “imperfect scheme” and does not go far enough to support Scots hit by rising energy bills.
“In terms of the challenges that we face right now, I think the measures that we have outlined will only go so far,” she said.
“I know that the cost of living crisis is affecting households who are not in receipt of benefits, who are not claiming a council tax reduction. And they are facing hardship too.
“We must seek to do what we can to prevent those households and families on the edge of the poverty line from falling over it.”
When will the £150 council tax rebate be paid?
If you usually pay your council tax by direct debit, your council tax rebate will be paid directly into your bank account in April. You don’t need to do anything to apply, but will be paid automatically. If you don’t pay by direct debit, your local council will reach out to you to arrange the payment.
Council tax bands
To find out whether you’re eligible for the council tax rebate, you first need to know what council tax band you are.
Additional reporting by PA reporters.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.