THE CHAIR of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, Clive Betts, has written to the UK Secretary of State Michael Gove about the Chancellor’s recent announcement that millions of households in England will receive a council tax rebate.
The rebates are among measures announced by the UK Government with the aim of helping households with energy costs. The one-off payment of £150 will be paid by local authorities to people living in properties in council tax bands A to D.
The Chair’s letter, sent on 8 February, seeks further information from Mr Gove on a number of issues including:
- whether local authorities will be reimbursed for any costs they stand to incur from administering the rebates to their residents;
- how the rebates will be paid to residents who do not have bank accounts or who do not pay by direct debit;
- whether households on council tax support will be eligible for the rebate, including if a household pays less than £150 of council tax a year; and
- how the Government will ensure the rebate is received by tenants who have an arrangement where their landlord pays the council tax on their behalf.
Mr Betts said: “While the Government’s recent announcements are welcome, there are important questions about the implementation of the council tax rebate that need answering.
“Much more detail is needed on how some households – for example those who receive council tax support – will be paid. And what will happen in households where tenants pay their council tax to their landlord? It is essential that the payments go to tenants and we avoid the possibility of landlords receiving multiple rebates.
“These issues will need ironing out quickly so that rebates can be paid promptly to help people with rising bills.
“We also need firm assurances that councils will not incur any further costs from administering the rebates – which has the potential to be very costly.”
* Read the letter to Michael Gove here.