Set up a council tax Direct Debit to receive energy rebate quickly
Shropshire Council is urging billpayers to set up a Direct Debit to pay their council tax, to ensure those who are eligible get their £150 energy rebate payment as quickly as possible.
The energy rebate scheme was recently announced by the Government to help people with rising energy costs. This includes those who already receive assistance in paying their council tax bill through local council tax support.
All eligible households in England in council tax bands A to D will get the £150 payment from the council from April this year.
Around 73% of households in Shropshire pay their council tax by Direct Debit, and those who qualify will receive the payment into their bank account without needing to take any action.
However, that leaves around 36,000 households who do not pay by Direct Debit who will need to go through a claims process to get their rebate, which is likely to take longer.
Council taxpayers wishing to set up a Direct Debit for council tax should visit the council’s webpage (https://shropshire.gov.uk/council-tax/pay-your-council-tax/ ). To reduce the risk of fraud, the Government have suggested that the council wait until their first council tax instalment has been collected by Direct Debit before issuing the energy rebate.
For those who are not eligible for a rebate but are struggling to meet the costs of rising energy bills (including those who live in properties that fall into council tax bands E – H), a discretionary fund is also being launched by the Government and made available through councils.
The council is currently working on a discretionary fund scheme, but payments will be easier and faster for those with Direct Debits in place.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, said:-
“We know that things are difficult at the moment, which is why we want to make sure that you get your energy rebate as quickly as possible.
“The best way to do this is to pay your council tax by Direct Debit. Not only will it help us to speed up your payment – it is also a much easier way to pay your council tax.
“If you can’t, you will still get your rebate and we’ll be letting you know how you can claim it shortly.”
Those unable to go online and who need help in setting up a council tax Direct Debit can contact the council by calling 0345 678 9002.
A household’s council tax band is shown on their council tax bill. Alternatively, people can check their band by entering their postcode on the Valuation Office Agency website (https://www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands ).