Charity warns lowest income households will wait longest for council tax rebate

17 May 2022

National Energy Action (NEA) has warned that the poorest households in the UK will wait the longest for the government's £150 council tax rebate.

The rebate forms part of the government's response to rising energy bills and provides a payment of £150 to households living in council tax bands A – D. Payments started to be made from April 2022 and will not need to be paid back.

Eligible households that pay council tax via direct debit will see the rebate paid to their direct debit bank account. Households that do not pay council tax by direct debit will be invited to nominate a method to receive the payment.

NEA stated that typically the poorest households do not pay council tax by direct debit, either because they do not have a bank account or because their finances are managed on a more ad hoc basis.

Analysis of the 331 council tax billing authorities in England and Wales carried out by the BBC revealed that there is a 'clear split' in timings of payments for households that pay council tax by direct debit and households that do not.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) commented: 'Some councils have begun making payments this month to allow software to be fully tested and to ensure April direct debit payments are not recalled and many are now also focusing on contacting those eligible who do not pay their council tax by direct debit.'

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