Hundreds of thousands in Greater Manchester won't automatically receive council tax rebate
Nearly half a million households across Greater Manchester will not automatically receive the £150 council tax rebate they are due in April.
The payment was promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month in response to rising energy bills which are set to sky-rocket when the price cap increases.All properties in council tax bands A to D are entitled to the £150 payment – but only those paying council tax by direct debit will receive it automatically.But more than 460,000 households across Greater Manchester currently pay council tax manually meaning they will have to apply to receive the rebate.These residents either pay their bills by visiting their council’s website every month, make their payments by phone or visit their town hall to pay in person.Some have suggested that the government did not account for these residents in the rollout of the rebate which was announced last month.Councils are now undertaking the “major exercise” of writing to all households which do not pay bills by direct debit, advising them how to claim the £150.A flyer from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities with information about the rebate is to be sent out with all annual council tax bills.
Authorities are encouraging residents to set up a direct debit so they receive the rebate as quickly as possible – but alternative plans are being put in place.The government has confirmed it will cover these administration costs.The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester what they are doing to help residents claim the rebate.There are 79,000 households in Wigan paying council tax by direct debit.At present, there are around 149,700 properties in the borough, but not all will be eligible for the rebate as this includes second homes and empty properties.In total, there are 70,700 not currently paying council tax by direct debit.Wigan Council says it is working through the guidance from the government to ensure an adequate process is put in place to distribute payments to all eligible residents, regardless of their method of payment for council tax.The government is funding the council tax rebate, but local authority will determine how to run their claims process depending on local circumstances.There is no set deadline for setting up a direct debit in order to get the £150 automatically. This depends on how councils run the payment process locally.A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson 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.”
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