By Connor Steel
FAREHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL have released an important update for residents on the subject of ‘council tax energy payments’ using the form of a press release earlier this week, offering a hopeful boost to households hit by the ongoing cost of living crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and soaring inflation rates that threaten to overtake earnings by the end of the year.
Back in February this year Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that millions of English households would receive up to £350 in rebates, which were broken into two different elements. The first was a £200 repayable payment in the form of a discount, which will be paid back automatically over five years, whilst the second element was a £150 non-repayable ‘Council Tax’ rebate in tax bands A to D after households faced their annual increases last month.
Although the first won’t come into effect until October and is administered by energy companies, local councils have the responsibility to pay the second with each getting a fair share of a fund based on their population and potential demands. On their website Fareham Borough Council have confirmed they have been given a total of £5,367,000 to support this.
And Fareham’s council have announced that the first payments of £150 have been made to those residents who pay by direct debit, with the initial 27,000 payments continuing to be sent to bank accounts over the coming weeks. A remittance letter will furthermore be issued to all recipients in a bid to avoid anxiety about where the money has come from and why it has been sent.
If the council doesn’t hold a residents’ bank account details on their system, the council tax payer will be contacted via post to request this important information. The contents will include a secure code and specific link to the council website, where they will be able to securely upload their bank details; with the rebate being paid into accounts when all administration is processed by the respective banks.
Councils have also received £144 million of discretionary funding for billing authorities to support households who need a form of hardship payment, but are not eligible for the council tax rebate. This has been entitled the Discretionary Fund and is subject to residents fitting specific criteria, with Fareham’s share of this pot announced as £122,400 to further help its population.
More information on the energy rebate scheme and updates on the progress of our payments can be found via the link of: https://www.fareham.gov.uk/council_tax/energyrebate.aspx, whilst readers can see the Government website for details such as criteria and terms / conditions.
PICTURED BY SHUTTERSTOCK: Information leaflet sent to residents in England about rebate scheme.