Council tax rebate: Families excluded from claiming £150 cost of living payment

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
File photo dated 27/07/21 of a view of houses in Thamesmead, south east London, as the next prime minister should cut red tape for housing, childcare and energy to help counter spiralling costs for households, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has said.
An unknown number of Brits are missing out on the £150 council tax rebate for energy bills. (PA)

The government is refusing to name the councils excluding some households from receiving a vital support payment to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

In February, former chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an "energy rebate scheme" - which included a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D - to help people deal with the impact of soaring inflation.

On Thursday, government figures showed that 80% of eligible households had received the £150 payment by the end of June.

Read more: Rishi Sunak vows to cut VAT on household energy bills

However, the department for levelling up, housing, and communities (DLUC) admitted that not all councils were able to give the rebate to those not paying their council tax by direct debit.

The statement said: "All councils have begun making these payments and almost all councils have payment processes in place for people who do not pay by direct debit.

"Minister for state Paul Scully has spoken to the four councils who do not yet have these processes in place to ensure that they do so as soon as possible."

When approached by Yahoo News UK the DLUC refused to identify which councils were involved.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss taking part in the BBC Tory leadership debate live. Our Next Prime Minister, presented by Sophie Raworth, a head-to-head debate at Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, between the Conservative party leadership candidates. Picture date: Monday July 25, 2022.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have come under pressure to pledged a package of support for soaring energy bills. (BBC/PA)

The DLUC also refused to provide details of these councils' deadlines for claiming the cash, which could be weeks earlier than the government's deadline at the end of September.

This means an unknown number of homes could be missing out on the cash ahead of a potential winter crisis of soaring energy bills.

Experts warned this week that the crisis could be even worse than anticipated amid predictions the energy price cap - which dictates how high gas and electricity bills can go - could double to £3,850 per year in January.

That could mean monthly energy bills of £500.

On Tuesday, MPs on the cross-party business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee called on the government to introduce a "social tariff" to help those on the lowest incomes with spiralling costs.

A social tariff would reduce the price of energy bills for those on the lowest incomes, the cost of which would be paid for by taxation or by other customers.

Read more: Some renters to miss out on £400 energy discount, experts warn

On Wednesday, the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said the next prime minister must act as soon as possible to mitigate the crisis when they come to power in September

"The energy bills crisis this winter is a nightmare scenario, but the government is sleepwalking into it," said a spokesperson.

"Tory leadership hopefuls and ministers need to wake up and announce urgent financial support to offset the predicted price rises this winter and further help vulnerable homes stay warm this winter."

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