Nearly 4,000 homes in Ashfield won't get Chancellor's £150 council tax rebate

New figures show almost 4,000 homes across Ashfield will not qualify for the Government’s one-off £150 council tax rebate to help with the soaring cost of living and energy prices.

Thursday, 10th February 2022, 12:00 pm

In Ashfield, 95 per cent of households will qualify for the rebate, but that still leaves 3,920 homes in Ashfield that will not.

And the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank believes there will be low-income households among those missing out, simply because council is tax is based on the value of someone’s home rather than their income.

Some 5.2 million households in England will not qualify for the rebate designed to help people through the energy crisis.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that homes in council tax bands A-D would get a £150 rebate. But that still leaves thousands of homes, some on low incomes, missing out. Photo: Justin Tallis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

These households will be left fighting over a £144m pot of cash being handed out via local councils – equivalent to just £28 each.

And because the council tax rebates are targeted at lower- and mid-value homes, fewer people qualify in areas of the country where house prices are higher.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the scheme on February 3, on the same day regulator Ofgem revealed average energy bills would rise by nearly £700 per year from April.

However, the IPPR called the measure ‘poorly targeted’, saying 2m of the poorest people would miss out on the automatic help and would instead have to apply for a handout from the £144m fund.

It said it feared those on low incomes excluded from the automatic rebates would be ‘reliant on a discretionary scheme for support which could be overwhelmed’.

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The £150 discount on council tax will be applied to the bills of qualifying households from April and only households in council tax bands A to D will be eligible for it.

This excludes 4.5m homes in the higher value bands E to H, some of whom will be on low incomes.

It also leaves out 660,000 households which do not currently pay council tax, such as student households, analysis of official data shows.

However, people living in band A to D homes who get local council tax support, where their bills are discounted or written off by the local council, should still qualify.

Second homes and empty homes are ineligible for the payouts.

To help anyone struggling with their bills who does not qualify for the help, Mr Sunak announced a hardship fund of £144m, to be distributed by local authorities.

He told the Commons this would ‘help those lower-income households who happen to live in higher council tax properties, and households in bands A to D who are exempt from council tax at all’.

The IPPR estimates 2m of the poorest people would miss out on the automatic help and would have to apply for discretionary support, while 44 per cent of the richest will benefit from the tax cut.

Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, told the Commons the scheme ‘will mean many of the poorest households receive no extra support, while some of the richest do’.

Labour has instead called for an extension to the existing Warm Homes Discount scheme to include more lower-income households.

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