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Council tax rebate payments to be issued

Council tax rebate payments to be issued

Eligible Bristol residents will begin receiving the £150 council tax rebate in the coming weeks as part of the government’s initiative to help households with rising energy costs.

5 May 2022

Bristol rooftops and the suspension bridge in the background

 

The scheme, announced by the Chancellor earlier this year, provides a one-off payment of £150 to most households living in homes in council tax bands A to D.

Since the announcement, Bristol City Council has worked to create a new system to ensure everyone eligible in the city receives their payment. The first phase of payments are scheduled to be made by Monday 16 May.

Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Finance and Performance, said: “We appreciate that schemes such as this are vital as energy prices soar and national insurance contributions and food prices increase. We are therefore grateful for everyone’s patience while we’ve worked hard to implement this new system. 

“At the same time we know that for far too many people, a one-off £150 rebate won’t go far enough, and much more needs to be done. In Bristol, there were over 38,400 people in the city claiming Universal Credit at the start of the year, many of whom will now be feeling the pinch of welfare cuts introduced by the Government. We have a rental crisis with rent prices rocketing by 52 per cent over the past decade with no sign of this slowing down to allow wage growth to catch up. Our recent Quality of Life survey tells us that at least 10 per cent of people in the most deprived areas of the city have experienced food insecurity – that’s twice the number of people in that position the previous year.

“If you need help, please reach out. There is advice, support and information available across the city. We’ve been working on how we can provide additional help and have put support in place to try and soften the impact of rising costs. We’ve prioritised support for low-income households through being one of only a handful of councils that offer a 100 per cent council tax reduction scheme and there is also the local crisis prevention fund. If you aren’t eligible for these schemes but are in financial difficulty and are worried about paying your council tax bill please get in touch with us. We will do all we can to support you.”

Residents have also been warned about not falling foul to tax rebate telephone scams seen in other parts of the country. The council has confirmed it will not be telephoning people to ask for their bank details in relation to the rebate.

How will payments be made?

Most residents who pay their council tax by direct debit will receive the money directly into their bank account by Monday 16 May and will receive a letter confirming details of this payment.

An online form will be made available from Monday 23 May on the Bristol City Council website for non-direct debit payers to submit their bank details. There will be an option on the form for households to choose to have the £150 credited to their council tax account if they prefer. A service will also be made available to help those who are not able to access the online form.

If anyone who pays by direct debit has not received their payment by Monday 16 May, they should also complete this online form.

Bank details submitted on the form will only be used for the rebate and not future payments of council tax, unless the household requests this.

Additional help

Bristol has also been allocated a discretionary fund as part of the scheme to help residents considered to be most in need of support. This will support households living in Bristol in bands E to H who are in need or as well as those in bands A to D who are not eligible for the council tax rebate. Only one application can be made per household.

Residents will need to apply using an online application form and will be asked to provide evidence, including council tax account number, photo ID and proof of address, to support the information provided in the application. Eligibility criteria will include that the person must be living within the Bristol City Council area as their main residence from Friday 1 April 2022 and they pay their energy costs directly to the energy supplier by bill or pre-payment meter, not as part of their rent.

The process for the discretionary fund is being finalised and further information, including the full eligibility criteria and exclusions, will be provided on the Bristol City Council website as soon as possible.

The council is conscious that some households may not feel they need the council tax rebate and will be offering a scheme that enables people to donate all or part of it to help support those who are most in need in the city. Some residents have already shown an interest in a scheme like this and if others would like to find out more, email counciltaxforms@bristol.gov.uk. It will not affect the provision of the rebate but will enable them to make a direct donation to local crisis funding.

Full details about the council tax rebates are available on the Bristol City Council website. 

If you need financial support visit the Benefits and financial help page of the council’s website.

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