Updated May 26 @ 16:35
On the 3rd Feb 2022, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £150 council tax rebate for millions of households to help with soaring energy bills. The rebate is for those whose Council Tax is in Band A to Band D only. Since then many households across the UK who pay their council tax by direct debit have received their rebate.
However, those who do not use the direct debit route are still waiting, especially many in the Folkestone & Hythe District area, while a cost of living crisis develops.
Across the district there are 42,040 households who fall into Band A – Band D.
Of these, 26,770 households pay by direct debit in Bands A-D – this includes over 900 second homes and other non-payable cases. Of those over 24,500 have been paid out according to Cllr Tim Prater, Cabinet & Portfolio holder for Revenues & Benefits. There are issues with some households due to verification as the names on billing account and bank account don’t match. The council can’t pay one persons rebate to a different person without the bill payers say so. This means there are 17,540 households (or 42%) who are still yet to receive thier £150 rebate, but given people are beginning to feel frustrated at not receiving their rebate – during a cost of living crisis – four months after they were informed of the rebate, one has to ask why this is taking so long.
That aside, the Council Tax team overseen by Mr Andrew Hatcher, are no doubt doing all that they can to get the monies to households as fast as they can. Mr Hatcher is a decent man, an honest man, and that also goes for all of his team. They are working as fast as they humanly can, given the software issues. But despite their efforts, frustrations at the slowness of the roll out to 17,540, or 42% of households; which include children, to non direct debit households grows.
Cllr Prater has stated:
There has been a delay due to getting software right to do something the Council has never had to do before. I wish they could have been out sooner, but have been pushing. If you compare our delivery on this with other councils, you’ll see were very much in line with or ahead of others.
If one wishes to get hold of the Cabinet Portfolio holder, Cllr Tim Prater (Lib Dem), who’s allowance in 2021/22 were £16,660, he can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Now to be fair to Tim and the Council Tax Team they are doing much better than Swale and Leeds council.
Swale BC took money out of the accounts of direct debit holders while Leeds City Council mistakenly sent out two payments to thousands of households. At least our Council has NOT made these mistakes that we know of.
The Shepway Vox Team
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