Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Sun Apr 24, 2022 9:01 pm

Delays of up to six months as council tax rebate scheme descends into chaos

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Families will have to wait for up to six months for their £150 council tax rebates after local authorities failed to prepare and missed government deadlines.

Only a fraction of councils have credited taxpayers with the handout, designed to help some 28 million pay for soaring energy bills, despite assurances that the "vast majority" would receive support this month.

Many said residents would not receive payments until late May or in some cases even September because they needed to implement new software to facilitate the payments.

Families now face a lottery on when they will receive the cash. Each authority is rolling out the handouts differently, with some waiting on systems upgrades or on outsourced firms to complete audits of taxpayer records.

Doncaster and Melton were among a limited number of English councils to have issued payments.

Others, such as Trafford, Southend-on-Sea and the City of York, will pay those who pay their council tax via direct debit by the end of the month. Hastings Council has said payments will not be made until the end of May.

Residents who do not pay via direct debit face the longest waits because they must actively claim it back. Some councils are yet to set up the portal to accept requests.

Authorities have come under fire for failing to ready the payments to coincide with the cost of living crunch, especially given that the scheme was announced at the start of February.

Danielle Boxall, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, accused councils of "unnecessary bureaucratic busywork''.

Shaun Davies of the Local Government Association, the body for councils, said councils were acting in line with Government guidance, but conceded there would be delays.

State rules allow local authorities to carry out checks and withhold the payouts until September to protect against fraud and abuse of the scheme. However, guidelines said the grants should be paid as close to April 1 as possible to provide "immediate relief".

A government spokesman said "many councils" had started issuing the rebates, and expected "the rest to begin payments shortly".

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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby rebbonk » Sun Apr 24, 2022 9:34 pm

As I said before, why not simply add a deduction on every council tax bill that was eligible? Easy, quick, cheap and virtually foolproof. Show me complexity and I'll show you waste, expense and very likely, something to hide.
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Sat Apr 30, 2022 5:57 pm

Thousands of Coventry residents to get £150 Post Office voucher to help with rising energy costs

Thousands of Coventry residents are to receive a £150 Post Office voucher to help with rising energy costs. Coventry City Council has announced that those people who have not yet received the Government payment are to receive it in this form.

The voucher will be issued to eligible council tax payers who do not pay their bills by direct debit. People living in Coventry homes in council tax bands A to D, who are entitled to the payment and pay council tax by direct debit, have already received the £150 council tax energy rebate as part of the Government scheme – administered by Coventry City Council.

The money is a one-off payment and does not need to be paid back. Of 140,000 households in Coventry receiving payments around 53,000 are not on a direct debit payment system for council tax and will receive the Post Office vouchers from the council in the post.

The city council says it is taking this approach to get the cash to people as quickly as possible and without the need for people to make any online claims. It said it was concerned that requiring an online claim would disadvantage large numbers of residents who are not able to easily access online services.

The £150 payment will be made to the person who is liable for council tax. Barrie Strain, head of revenues and benefits at Coventry City Council, said: “The vast majority of households who pay council tax via direct debit have had the £150 payment made in the past few days.

"Because we already have relevant details these have been made automatically into bank accounts. We initially planned to run an online application process for those people who don’t pay by direct debit, but the council will instead issue a Post Office payment token to households in the post.

"We hope this way more vulnerable people will feel that the process is a lot simpler and quicker. This is a one-off payment and residents do not need to pay it back.

"Any household who has yet to receive a payment will receive a letter from the council containing details of how to redeem the token; residents can take that letter to any post office branch and receive the cash straight away. Residents can also choose to pay the cash straight into their bank account if they take their bank details with them to the post office.”

The tokens will be valid for two months, and anyone who has not redeemed the token after this time will have the £150 energy rebate credited to their council tax account so that no one misses out on the support. The council said it is working with the Post Office to get the process set up quickly and expects to issue the letters with the Post Office voucher to households in mid-May.

The Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced the Council Tax Energy Rebate scheme in February which all councils are required to administer. In Coventry it affects 140,000 properties making up 94 per cent of the city’s domestic properties.

Senior officers have said that people do not need to get in touch with the council as everyone who is entitled to the £150 energy rebate will receive it. Details are also explained on the council’s website here.

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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Tue May 24, 2022 11:37 pm

Downing Street to reveal cost of living measures in bid to deflect Partygate anger

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No 10 is poised to unveil measures aimed at easing the cost of living crisis in order to offset public anger over the Sue Gray Partygate report.

The communications grid — the planning document used by government spin doctors — includes an extension to the warm homes discount.

An announcement on the measure, which could come later this week, is expected to be worth hundreds of pounds to some households.

Ministers believe that publication soon after the release of the Partygate report could help cast a more positive light on the government’s activities.

It was held back in order to give the prime minister a “soft landing”, a Downing Street insider told The Independent.

The intervention is set to come after Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem, told MPs the price cap would rise from £1,971 to £2,800 a year in October.

The drive to try and reboot Mr Johnson’s premiership comes after the government spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revealed that unemployment benefits are set to fall by £12bn this year after accounting for inflation.

The warm home discount is a one-off payment, aimed at low-income households or pensioners. It is normally delivered as a discount on an energy bill.

The combination of fresh analysis from the OBR and the news of the likely sharp increase in energy bills this autumn by Ofgem paint a grim picture for the remainder of the year, according to Trades Union Congress.

General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Millions of families are already at breaking point. But now they face even more bill hikes, while ministers do nothing to make sure wages and universal credit keep pace.

“The chancellor must provide more help to families now. We need an emergency budget – it’s time to get on with it.”

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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Tue May 24, 2022 11:46 pm

The warm home discount is a one-off payment, aimed at low-income households or pensioners.

No it isn't, it's aimed exclusively at means-tested benefit-claimants, as are many other discounts. :fuming:
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Thu May 26, 2022 3:41 pm

As I suspected the bulk of the latest handouts will go to those on means-tested benefits:

https://inews.co.uk/news/consumer/one-o ... ng-1652486

More than eight million of the lowest-income households will receive the £650 one-off payment, which applies to people on a range of benefits.

It will be paid directly to households in two lump sums, with one paid from July and another in autumn.

The Government advises that the payment will be tax-free, will not affect the benefit cap and will not affect existing benefit awards.

Rishi Sunak said that the package means almost all of the eight million most vulnerable UK households will receive at least £1,200 of support, including a £150 council tax rebate which has already been announced.

What is classed as a low income household?

According to the Government’s guidance, the payment will be given to more than eight million households on means tested benefits, including, all receiving the following:

  • Universal credit
  • Income-based jobseekers allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income support
  • Working tax credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Pension credit


That's £1,200 for some that have never paid into the system but only £300 for those that have paid in all their lives!
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby rebbonk » Thu May 26, 2022 7:30 pm

That's £1,200 for some that have never paid into the system but only £300 for those that have paid in all their lives!


I recognise that I'm likely in a minority, but I find that incredibly offensive.

Whilst we were part of the EU the rules were that we must treat everyone the same. However, we're no longer in that little club, so there is no reason why we can't readopt the rule of contributing before receiving. Of course, it won't happen because we have no politicians with big enough testicles to actually take on certain vocal minority groups.
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Fri May 27, 2022 3:40 am

Retirees on the basic state pension have always been worse off than those claiming Pension Credit which is an absolute disgrace but following this announcement retirees on the so-called 'New State Pension' will also be worse off by around £200 a year.

Likewise those who have worked most of their lives and are now reliant on temporary benefits such as Employment Support Allowance (sick pay) and Jobseeker's Allowance (dole money) will also be worse-off relative to those on means-tested benefits which are paid regardless of employment record. :roll:
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:57 pm

dutchman wrote:I just submitted my reading by phone without any problem. :yahoo:

Call 0333 202 9802, select option 1 and say “Meter Reading”, then follow the instructions.


And they still sent me an estimated reading! :fuming: :fuming: :fuming:
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Re: Energy bills: Rishi Sunak gives one-off repayable £200 discount to households

Postby dutchman » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:59 pm

Picked-up my Council Tax refund from the post office today, £180 including a £30 discretionary payment.

Not bad for a day's 'work' but I was left shattered afterwards by the heat and exhaustion.

It's actually the very first time I've seen the new £20 note!
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