Council tax rebate: Local council takes £150 OUT of bank accounts instead of paying it

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Residents have been left down £150 after a local council in north Kent accidentally removed money it should have been paying out as a government energy bill rebate

Worried man in front of a laptop at home
The issue affects residents of Swale Borough Council

A Kent council has said sorry after accidentally taking £150 from residents’ bank accounts instead of paying the figure as an energy bill rebate.

Council tax rebates worth £150 have started dropping into the bank accounts of thousands of households across the country.

The cash comes from the government, and is meant to help people in council tax bands A to D with the cost of rising energy bills.

But Swale Borough Council, in north Kent, has taken £150 from some taxpayers’ bank accounts instead of paying it, Kent Live reports.

The council has since moved to correct the mistake by crediting those accounts.

But this only corrected the accidental deduction, so a new payment must be made.

That could take a “few days” to appear in people’s accounts, the council said.

This means some people are worried about going overdrawn or being hit with bank charges.

The council said: “People who are eligible for the government’s energy rebate payments will see both a debit and a credit on their bank account today due to an error processing the planned payments.







The mistake was made by Swale Borough Council
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

“We are deeply sorry that this has happened, and we have been working to rectify the situation and make sure people’s accounts are in a neutral position.

“If you are worried, please check with your bank to confirm both a debit and credit has been made to your account.

Swale Borough Council has been approached for comment.

Who is eligible for the £150 council tax rebate?

The council tax rebate will apply to homes in council tax bands A, B, C or D in England and Wales – roughly 80% of properties – but not those who live in council tax bands E, F, G and H (or I as well, in Wales).

Scotland residents will also be entitled to £150 off if they are in bands A to D – but they’re also qualify if they’re currently getting a council tax reduction as well.

Those in bands outside of A to D may be able to get a boost in the form of a discretionary payment instead.

If you’re eligible, the money won’t need to be paid back and will be issued directly from councils from April.

For those who pay by Direct Debit, councils will use the details they have for you in their system to send the money directly to your bank account.

If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, councils should invite you to put in a claim and ask you for your account details so they can process the payment.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged households to be aware of scammers trying to steal your details, and said councils will never ask for bank details over the phone.

Councils should contact you in writing to ask for your details.

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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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