More than 30,000 Rochdale households face having to apply for council tax rebate – as they are not signed up to direct debit


Nearly a third of all households in Rochdale may have to apply for a new £150 council tax rebate as they do not pay by direct debit

The payment, announced last month by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is part of a government response to rising energy bills. All properties in bands AD qualify.

However, it has emerged that those who settle up by cash or check are not only likely to have to wait for their rebate but may also have to apply for it.
Rochdale council says it does not have any bank details for 33,000 homes that do not pay their council tax via direct debit.

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It’s believed Treasury officials failed to realize the number of people – particularly those living in deprived areas – who do not have direct debits set up to pay their council tax when putting together the new rebate policy.
Rochdale council says people who do not pay by direct debit will still be eligible for the £150 payment and it is currently discussing the best way to do this.

Councillor Carol Wardle, cabinet member for finance at Rochdale council said: “Direct Debit is the quickest, safest and easiest way to pay your council tax and our borough is already one of the highest in Greater Manchester in terms of the number of direct debit council taxpayers.

“We still continually promote the benefits of it to residents online, in direct mail and by phone when residents call us to report account changes.

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Councilor Carol Wardle.

“Customers who don’t currently pay by direct debit will of course still get the £150 rebate if eligible, and we are discussing various options to get this money to them.”

Coun Wardle has urged residents who do not already pay by direct debit to sign up.

“It saves you time online, writing checks, or phoning us each month. You can choose a payment date and it will all be done automatically without you having to remember,” she added.

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The council is yet to make a decision on sending mailshots to residents promoting direct debit payments. However, a flyer has been provided by the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities to include with the annual council tax bills being delivered this month.

The council tax rebate is part of a £9.1bn government support package.

A one-off payment, it will benefit around 80 per cent of all households in England and does not have to be repaid.

However, that is not the case for another similar government scheme.

The Energy Bills Rebate will provide around 28 million households with an upfront discount on their bills worth £200. Energy suppliers will apply the discount to domestic electricity customers from October, with the Government meeting the costs.

But that discount will then be automatically recovered from people’s bills in equal £40 facilities over the next five years.
Rochdale residents can sing up to pay their council tax online rochdale.gov.uk/counciltax or by phoning 0300 303 8870.

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Further details on the government rebate initiatives can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/households-urged-to-get-ready-for-150-council-tax-rebate

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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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