Laura Sharman 02 March 2022

MP calls for clarity on support for councils to manage tax rebate

MP calls for clarity on support for councils to manage tax rebate image
Image: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock.com

The Government has been urged to explain what support local authorities will receive to help manage the burden of administrating the £150 council tax rebate scheme.

Clive Betts, chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, has written to Michael Gove to raise a series of concerns about the rebate.

This includes how qualifying households without a bank account will receive the payment, the access to the rebate for those not paying their council tax by direct debit, and what happens if a landlord pays the council tax on behalf of their tenant.

Mr Betts also asks the secretary of state about the burden placed on local authorities of 'managing the allocation of 20 million one-off payments'.

'The Government has made significant efforts to get good headlines for introducing the £150 rebate. However, it has now left local authorities with the headache of managing the allocation of these payments,' said Mr Betts.

'Additionally, it has now emerged that access to the rebate will be difficult for those who do not pay through direct debit. The Government needed to ensure that qualifying households received prompt support, but have instead imposed the burden of responsibility and bureaucracy on to local authorities.

He added: 'The rebate is welcome but we need to know more from Whitehall about what they are doing to support local councils deliver this policy and provide firm assurances that councils will not be hit by further costs from administering the rebates.'

Councils are urging residents to set up a direct debit to pay their council tax bill in order to get the £150 energy rebate payment as quickly as possible.

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