Council Tax rebate for thousands in South Tyne
In the face of the cost of living crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a range of financial support measures last week – to add to the £150 council tax rebate for almost homes between bands A and D.
This included a universal £400 grant to help pay for rising energy bills in October, a one-off £650 payment for those on means-tested benefits, a £300 grant for pensioners receiving winter fuel payments and £150 to those receiving certain disability allowances.
Valuation Office Agency figures show there were 69,630 properties in South Tyneside classified between council tax bands A to D on March 31 – 96% of the 72,580 households in the area.
All occupiers in these properties are eligible for the rebate, except where the owner is liable for council tax, such as a house of multiple occupancy or residential care home.
Charity National Energy Action praised the more targeted help ahead of an "utterly disastrous" winter for many who will be pushed into fuel poverty, but said this does not apply to the council tax rebate.
NEA said the current classification misses 600,000 households on low incomes and that it holds "serious concerns" about the implementation of the rebate.
Chief executive Adam Scorer said: “Councils each have their own way of administering the scheme, creating a postcode lottery for struggling households.”
The range of extra measures Mr Sunak announced are aimed at helping eight million of the lowest-income households, eight million pensioner households and a further six million currently receiving non-means-tested disability benefits.