2.5 million households to miss out on £150 council tax rebate – how to get support

Energy bill increase is a 'crisis' for disabled says Martin Lewis

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One of the UK’s leading think-tanks is warning that millions are at risk of falling into “fuel stress” due to the exponential rise in energy bills that is taking place. As of April 1, 2022, the energy price cap has risen by £693 to £1,971 a year, with a further hike expected in October. While the council tax rebate was introduced to help families mitigate the impact of this spike in the cost of living, the Resolution Foundation believes the scheme does not go far enough in offering support.

The poorest 20 percent of households are forecast to spend more than twice as much of their budgets on heating their home than the country’s richest 20 percent, according to the think-tank.

Families who live in poorly insulated homes are set to be worse-off as a result, with households with an energy efficiency rating of E set to experience a staggering bill rise.

Energy bills for people in these homes will go up by £320 more a year compared to people who live in homes with a C rating which are a similar size.

While households in tax bands A to D will benefit from the £150 rebate, homes in other tax brackets will not be eligible.

One fifth of the poorest households in London are in bands E to H, according to the Resolution Foundation, which means they will miss out on the support.

Jonathan Marshall, the Resolution Foundation’s senior economist, said the energy price cap rise would see the number of households experiencing fuel stress double to five million.

He added: “With the price cap expected to rise sharply again on October 1, a further 2.5 million households could fall into fuel stress this autumn, unless more support is provided.

“There are no easy ways to protect people from rising bills in the current climate. But with many of the poorest households missing out on the council tax rebate, this scheme should be used to supplement, rather than replace, support via the benefit system, which is better equipped to target lower-income families.


“Another increase in energy bills this autumn hastens the need for more immediate support, as well as a clear, long-term strategy for improving home insulation, ramping up renewable and nuclear electricity generation, and reforming energy markets so that families’ energy bills are less dependent on global gas prices.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Direct debit is the quickest and easiest way to pay council tax, and the best way for most people to get the rebate.

“Eligible households who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit will be invited to make a claim. Councils will be reimbursed for their administration costs.”

While many households are not able to qualify for the council tax rebate, other support options are available to those who are most in need.

As part of his Spring Statement last month, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined various support packages and funding of programmes to assist the most vulnerable.

Notably, Mr Runsak announced the Household Support Fund would ‘double’ from £500million to £1billion which is managed through councils.

The Chancellor explained his decision as those “best placed to help those in their local areas” are better placed to address the country’s cost of living crisis.

Some families may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment to pay for any rent or housing costs.

This can be applied through the local council and is highlighted by the Government as an alternative to the rebate.

On its website, the Government stated: “The Government has provided all councils in England with funding to provide discretionary support to any household that is in financial need, regardless of council tax band.

“Each council will develop and publicise eligibility criteria and the claims process for this funding.”

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