Delays in software leads to residents frustration over £150 Council Tax rebate during cost of living crisis.

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.

These delays which have come on the back of the recent Veolia bins debacle, maybe indicative of wider problems in the Council. That said Information about the Council Tax rebate can be found on the Council’s website

We suspect the risk of fraud might be one answer, after all they did pay £95,000 worth of Covid Grants to Hallam Estates, controlled by Michael Stainer and run by Robert Moss, even though they were aware it was a company in distress.

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 tim.prater@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk

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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About shepwayvox (1523 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

4 Comments on Delays in software leads to residents frustration over £150 Council Tax rebate during cost of living crisis.

  1. Mr Angry // May 26, 2022 at 11:14 // Reply

    There’s always some bloody excuse.

  2. You didn’t ask now many DD payers they were. It is known.

    There were 26,770 DD in Bands A-D (but this includes over 900 second homes and other non-payable cases). Of those over 24,500 have been paid out, with the remainder needing verification as the names on billing account and bank account don’t match (which is fine, but we can’t pay one persons rebate to a different person without the bill payers say so).

    The same Northgate software is used by Council;s across the country, but setting up a system to pay OUT to thousands of people is not what it was designed to do: Councils have tradtionally taken payments in rather more! It DOES therefore take a bit of work, as every Council across the country is finding.

  3. Where is the logic in all of this. I happen to reside in a band E property and am outside of the benefit bonanza. I have nothing beyond pension income and cannot realise the value of my home without selling.

    Surely this benefit should have been income related, means tested if need be and I have no problem with that.

    Perhaps our Council, and for that read Government, think that I can lick my walls for nourishment in order to live, or heat my house and go hungry.

    There is something fundamentally wrong with this benefit roll-out and it should be addressed.

    • Totally agree as I live in a Band E property – perhaps TIM could ASK his TORY best mates why Band E WAS ignored.

      Apparently capitals make a point far better !!!

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