Home   Kent   News   Article

Council tax discount to help with energy prices won't help 165,000 households across Kent

Thousands of households are set to miss out on a reduction in their council tax bills to help cushion the impact of crippling energy costs, it has emerged.

An estimated 165,776 households across the county will be ineligible for the £150 discount because they are not in one of the lower council tax bands.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the support last week
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the support last week

The one-off discount, under the government scheme announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak last week, is confined to bill payers in the lower property Bands A to D and won't have to be paid back.

Those in the higher band E to H will only be eligible for the £200 loan on offer.

Close to 80,000 households who stand to miss out are in Band E, the next highest band.

Despite this, around 525,000 bill payers in Kent will qualify for the cut in the council tax under the government’s scheme.

It comes as county councillors are poised to vote on Kent County Council’s budget on Thursday, which will push the council tax charge up by just under 3%.

Energy bills will rise by an average of 54%
Energy bills will rise by an average of 54%

That would take the annual total Band D charge for 2022-23 to £1,461.24. Of this, £173.25 would be for increasing what is known as the Adult Social Care levy, extra money for meeting demand for care for the elderly and vulnerable.

The county council tax rise is just one of a number that some fear will leave many facing potentially insurmountable bills.

As well as KCC’s share of the council tax, the final bill will also include the borough or district tax; the police and crime commissioner tax, which is rising by 4.6% to £228 for homes in Band D properties and, where applicable, a parish or town council tax.

Finance chiefs at KCC say the Covid pandemic has had a lasting impact and has led to “significant spending pressures associated with latent demand, increasing complexity, and changes in social and working lives.”

It also says rising inflation rates has led to rising contractors’ costs, such as waste disposal, along with rising energy bills for streetlights and its own costs for heating offices.

Campaign groups have expressed reservations about the government’s Energy Rebate Plan. The Resolution Foundation said it would “reduce but far from end the rise in fuel stress this April as a result of the energy price cap rising by £693” and targeted support was needed.


Analysis by political editor Paul Francis

On paper, the government's plans to minimise the impact of spiralling energy prices look relatively generous.

But closer inspection shows there may not be much of a lifeline for those struggling with other bills, higher food prices and fuel at record levels.

The scheme for discounts covers the lowest council tax bands but that does not mean those in other bands are not facing the same challenges.

The Resolution Foundation said 640,000 households in England in the bottom 30% based on income lived in properties rated E and above and would not qualify.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been criticised over the lack of detail about how the council tax rebate will work for those who already get 100% rebates, such as the poorest pensioners.

The £200 loan available for all council tax payers is modest and could involve considerable bureaucracy when it comes to repayments.

The scheme may draw some of the sting of rising energy prices over the short-term but beyond that, it is difficult to judge.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More