Action being taken so Arun residents do not miss out on £150

Thursday, 3 March 2022 20:38

By Jessica Hubbard - Local Democracy Reporter

Around 16,000 households across Arun don’t pay their council tax bills by direct debit and the council has come up with an alternative way to get a £150 payment to them.

Central government announced a £150 payment for all those living in Band A-D properties as part of measures to help tackle the rising cost of living.

Councils will distribute the £150 payments – which do not need to be paid back – through the council tax system from April.

This is separate from the £200 energy discount which has to be paid back over five years. A spokesperson for Arun District Council said approximately 58,000 households will be eligible for the ‘energy rebate’.

But approximately 16,240 households – or 28 per cent – do not pay their council tax bill by direct debit.

The £150 will be paid automatically to direct debit customers and councils face a challenge in getting the money to those who pay using other methods, as they may not hold their bank details.

However, the council said plans have been drawn up to ensure all taxpayers get the payment.

“We are currently making plans to ensure that the energy rebate is accessible to all those that qualify and will publish details of that when confirmed,” the ADC spokesperson said.

“We will be ready to deliver the rebate at the start of the next financial year [in April].”

On Wednesday (February 23) it was confirmed that Arun District Council will receive £8,238,150 from the government to fund the scheme. The scheme has come under fire with some suggesting it should be delivered through the benefits system instead.

The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, said the payments failed to ‘directly target the poorest and those most in need’. Councils will also receive a share of £144 million from the government for those households which still need help but may not be eligible for the £150 payment.

This will be distributed through discretionary schemes with local councils deciding who is eligible.

Arun District Council will receive £373,350 for this.

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