4 holes in the £150 discount off council tax – see if you’ll fall through cracks


Millions of households in bands A to D will get a one-off £150 discount on their council tax from April under Rishi Sunak’s plan to ease the impact of soaring energy bills

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Martin Lewis on how to get council tax £150 energy help

The Tories have been told to “get a grip” of a council tax rebate offered to struggling households as MPs warned people could miss out.

Millions of households in bands A to D will get a one-off £150 discount on their council tax from April under Rishi Sunak’s plan to ease the impact of spiraling bills.

Brits are being clobbered by the biggest rise in household energy bills in living memory with a 54% hike to the energy price cap from April 1.

Households on default tariffs who pay by direct debit will see an eye-watering £693 annual rise to their bills, from £1,277 to £1,971.

There will be an even bigger jump for prepayment customers of £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.

The Chancellor unveiled a package of help for families, including a £150 council tax rebate in April and a £200 energy bill discount in the autumn, which will be clawed back in installations over 5 years from 2023.







Grants of hundreds of pounds are still available
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure to do more to help struggling families cope with the cost of living crisis
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But the measures were slammed at the time for being too stingy.

MPs have raised alarm that people could miss out on council tax rebates or see payments delayed due to loopholes in the system.

In a letter to Cabinet Minister Michael Gove this week, Leveling Up Committee chairman Clive Betts said: “The Government needs to get a grip on the operation of the council tax rebate and give clear guidance to councils so that this rebate is delivered to households reliably.” and effectively.

“If the Chancellor is minded to bring forward additional support to households through the council tax system later in the year then it is even more crucial that every effort is made to create a process that works now.”

How does it work?

People living in homes in council tax bands A to D in England will be eligible for the £150 payment.

It must be your sole or main home to qualify, so second homes and empty properties are not eligible.







There are several ways to get money off your council tax bill
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Local authorities will deliver the rebate, with eligibility determined on your situation on April 1, 2022.

You can check which council tax band your home is in on the government website.

Councils have also been given a £144 million discretionary fund to use in areas of high deprivation or for people outside the eligibility criteria.

1. People need to be signed up to direct debit

Payments will be made automatically to people who pay their council tax by direct debit, meaning local authorities already have their bank details.

Councils have been told to contact people who do not pay their bills this way to make sure they don’t miss out.

But fears have been raised that this could mean delays to payments for people not on direct debit schemes.

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The Leveling Up Committee has been pressing ministers for estimates of how many households are in this category.

Figures sourced by the Local Democracy Reporting Service last month found that 320,000 households in County Durham and Northumberland did not pay council tax by direct debit. The overall figure is expected to be much higher.

The Government has ordered local authorities to ensure people get their rebate by September 30 2022 – months after it was initially supposed to be received.

2. People should have a current account

Another concern is people who don’t have a current account, which has been estimated to be around 400,000.

The Government states “where the recipient has no bank account, for example Post Office Payout vouchers”.

But the committee said it wasn’t clear how this would work and asked whether councils could hand out cash payments.







The Ofgem energy price cap rising means 90% of Brits will see bills rising
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3. Pensioners could miss out for living in ‘wrong kind of homes’

Age UK has warned that millions of older people will miss out as they live in the “wrong kind of homes” – despite struggling with financial hardship.

The charity estimates there are 4.3m households in England that will not be eligible for the Council Tax rebate because they live in properties with Council Tax band E to H, among whom half (2.1m) include at least one person aged 60+.

Older people often live in homes that are difficult and expensive to heat, leaving them at greater risk of developing health complications because of the cold.

4. Payment could go to landlords rather than tenants

MPs are concerned that landlords could receive the payments and not pass them onto their tenants.

People who pay rent to their landlord, which includes their bills could be affected in this case.

But Mr Betts asked: “What would happen if a landlord’s name was on the direct debit and was also the ‘liable person’ but where a tenant paid a rent which was deemed to include council tax?”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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