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Lib Dems Say 2,081 Households in Guildford Could Miss Out on Council Tax Rebate

Published on: 30 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 1 Apr, 2022

By Martin Giles

Guildford’s Liberal Democrats are saying that over two thousand households in Guildford Borough may miss out on the Government’s £150 council tax rebate to help with increasing energy bills, according to new figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

But their administration partners at GBC  are more sanguine and the lead councillor responsible said: “The expectation is that we will pay the rebate to everyone who is eligible, whether they pay by direct debit or not.”

31,482 properties across the area are in council tax bands A-D and a large majority will be eligible for the £150 rebate. But the government’s financial watchdog estimates that around a third do not pay their council tax bill by Direct Debit and therefore won’t automatically benefit from the help.

Of these, around 80 per cent are expected to apply for the rebate, the OBR report forecasts.

Local Liberal Democrats are demanding that the government fully funds councils to help them process the scheme. A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “Around 2,081 families in Guildford are liable to miss out on the £150 support. Meanwhile, the treasury is set to rake in £312,144 from this lack of take-up in the area – a slice of the £195 million they are set to make across the country.

“As a last resort, the Government must also be prepared to post a £150 cheque to each eligible household in Guildford that doesn’t receive the council tax rebate as a last resort, to ensure no one misses out.

Zoe Franklin

Zoe Franklin the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate said: “It is concerning that thousands of families in Guildford could miss out because of this Conservative Government’s half-baked plans.

“I particularly worry for those who are older and less well off who are likely to be disproportionately impacted by this because they don’t pay their council tax by direct debit.

“No one should go without the help they need because of this Conservative Government’s incompetence.”

But in a response from the Residents for Guildford & Villages (R4GV), Cllr Tim Anderson, GBC’s lead councillor for Resources was optimistic that those who did not pay by direct debit would still receive the payment.

Cllr Tim Anderson

“Not all of the, just under, 34,000 properties in Bands A to D will be eligible. Eligibility is linked to the situation on 1 April 2022. We estimate around 50 per cent pay by direct debit.”

To be eligible for the payment, the properties must be occupied as a primary residence. Payment will not be made on empty properties or second homes.

Cllr Anderson continued: “It takes time to set up a new scheme, and we at Guildford were not given the details in advance to enable us to plan. We will be working as quickly as possible to deliver the grants.

“We will publicise the grants once we have more details to share. I reiterate that our expectation is that we will pay the rebate to everyone who is eligible.

“Guildford is still working out the detail of what is required to deliver the energy rebate and has a web page for the energy rebate which will be updated as information becomes available. It is: www.guildford.gov.uk/counciltaxenergyrebate.”

 

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test One Response to Lib Dems Say 2,081 Households in Guildford Could Miss Out on Council Tax Rebate

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    March 31, 2022 at 2:08 am

    Has a reason why that number of house-owners who do not pay their council tax by direct debit been considered? Sending them a cheque for the rebate won’t help if they don’t have a bank account as without any of the other required identification items to show a bank, ie a passport and a recent utility or council tax bill, they are likely to be unable to open one.

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