Senior MP calls ministers to get a handle on the £150 tax rebates

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The chair of the levelling up select committee has suggested that ministers need to “get a grip” on the mechanism that gives households in England a £150 council tax rebate.

The scheme is set to begin next month, but Clive Betts is concerned that individuals would be unable to receive aid promptly and smoothly.

Payments to those who do not pay their taxes by direct debit may be delayed, according to councils.

Direct debt payers will receive an automatic rebate.

Those that do not will be approached by their local government and invited to file a claim.

Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, has stated that the £3 billion rebate will assist individuals facing the pressure of rising inflation.

The government estimates that nearly 20 million households will benefit from the one-off payment, which will be provided to people who live in properties in council tax categories A to D.

On the government website, residents may find out which council tax band their home belongs to.

Mr Betts, a Labour MP, has written to Mr Gove, voicing concerns over how the rebate will be implemented.

It was already proving to be complicated, he added, and there were a range of challenges that risked individuals not being able to obtain this service swiftly and smoothly.

The government needed to get a handle on the council tax refund’s operation and provide clear instructions to councils so that this rebate can be delivered consistently and effectively to households, he said.

He also expressed concern that money would end up going to landlords rather than tenants.

He also inquired whether the government had any information on the number of households that did not pay council tax via direct debit, and hence would not receive their payment automatically.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service discovered earlier this month that 320,000 residents in Northumberland and County Durham did not pay council tax via direct debit.

To ensure prompt payment of the rebate, the government has encouraged consumers to set up direct debits.