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Government ministers issued stark warning to ‘get a grip’ on £150 tax rebate before April

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, wrote to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday for clarification about the announced council tax rebate. Mr Gove stated that the rebate totals to £3bn and would support those feeling the pressure of rising inflation in relation to their energy bills.

It is part of a package announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help households that are struggling with the ever-increasing cost of living.

However, Mr Sunak has also increased council tax for some households by up to five percent which means many will continue to feel the pinch despite the rebate. 

Another element of the money-saving plan is the £200 energy bills payment which should not be confused with the tax rebate as the former is required to be paid back while the £150 is not. 

Around 80 percent of households will receive the one-off £150 payment from April 1, which is estimated to be around 20 million homes.

Mr Betts stated in his correspondence to the two ministers that the “council tax rebate is already proving complex and there are a variety of issues which risk people being unable to access this help quickly and smoothly”.

He added: “The Government needs to get a grip on the operation of the council tax rebate and give clear guidance to councils so that this rebate is delivered to households reliably and effectively.”

One of the main concerns of the Levelling Up Chair is the scale of households who do not have direct debit accounts, which is thought to be approximately 10 million, or “around half” of the households in the A-D bracket. 

He expressed further concerns about the estimated 400,000 households without a current account and how they will receive the rebate.

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The Government has urged people to sign up to direct debit payments before April in order to ensure they receive the rebate in a timely and efficient manner. 

The payment for those who do not pay with direct debit is expected to take longer than those who do but it has been clearly stated that they will still receive the rebate from April 2022 onwards. 

Households that will not qualify for the payment include second homes and empty properties, and if a household is registered for council tax as the landlord of a house of multiple occupation.



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