Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘breaks pledge on energy bills rebate’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak ‘breaks pledge on energy bills rebate’

Thousands of households could be missing out on support to ease the cost of living crisis as councils fail to pay their energy bills rebate.

Brits are facing the biggest squeeze on living standards in 30 years as bills soar and inflation jumps.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a support package revealing that millions of households in the UK will receive energy bill discounts totalling £350 to help with soaring costs.

There will be a repayable £200 discount on bills from October and a further £150 council tax rebate for most households in England “in April”, the guidance said.

However, an investigation by Radio 4’s Money Box has found that many councils have failed to make the £150 payment.

In addition, the wording of the payment date in the guidance has changed from “in April” to “from April”.

The council tax rebate will be for all households in England that are in council tax bands A, B, C or D – the government says this covers around 80 per cent of all homes or around 15 million households.

“Many councils have already started paying the rebate and we expect the rest to begin payments shortly,” the Levelling Up department told the BBC in a statement.

“The £150 council tax rebate will help millions of people deal with rising living costs, and we have provided an additional £144 million to councils to provide support to any household in need, regardless of council tax band,” it added.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, has suggested that fraud checks and new software have caused delays to payment processing.

A HM Treasury spokesperson said: “We’ve always been clear, including in our press notice and the leaflet which went out to millions of households, that the £150 council tax rebate to help with the cost of living would be paid “from” April.

“All Local Authorities have received their grant from the government to issue payments to households in Bands A-D – and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is working at pace with Local Authorities’ to distribute this money as quickly as possible”

For those who pay by Direct Debit, councils will use bank account details to credit their account with a one-off payment of £150.

If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, councils will process claims.

Some households can get a discount, while others don’t have to pay any council tax at all.

Students and some pension credit claimants are completely exempt from having to pay.

Meanwhile, single people are entitled to 25 per cent off their bill, while an adult living with a student can get 50 per cent off.

Published by anthonyhayble

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