Home   Maidstone   News   Article

How Maidstone council residents can claim Council Tax Rebate towards energy costs


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

Thousands of council taxpayers who do not pay by direct debit are still waiting to receive a £150 refund to help with their rising fuel costs.

Maidstone council says it has now made payments to all direct debit payees, after an initial delay attributed to a software glitch.

Maidstone Town Hall
Maidstone Town Hall

The council says it will be writing to the remaining 16,000 households this month giving information on how to claim the support.

But it is warning home-owners that it will not be phoning or texting them with this information.

The warning comes after reports of scam phone calls purporting to be from local authorities seeking details of residents' bank details.

The news of further delay in receiving the payment has angered Richard Burr of Meadow View, Pilgrims Retreat, Harrietsham.

He usually pays his council tax using the council's dedicated phone payment system but government advice means any person who does not pay by direct debit will have to manually make the claim to their council themselves and the money will not be paid or deducted automatically.

Richard Burr
Richard Burr

He said: "As I understand it, the council has already received the funding from central government to fund this rebate.

"This whole rebate saga is either an example of council maladministration or, more seriously, a deliberate decision to delay for as long as possible paying residents the rebate that is their due."

Mr Burr said: "Surely, by far and away the simplest, least costly and most efficient way of administering the rebate would have been to deduct it from the first council tax monthly bill? Job done!"

Maidstone council received £7,861,050 from the government in March to make non-discretionary payments to householders in tax bands A to D.

In addition, it received another £396,300 to fund discretionary payments, which it could use to help other households, outside those tax bands, who were perceived to be in unusual hardship.

The rebate is intended to help with soaring energy bills
The rebate is intended to help with soaring energy bills

Maidstone has 77,790 council tax accounts overall, of which 51,767 fall with the applicable rebate range.

Some 35,405 pay by direct debit and should have received their £150 automatically, leaving 16,362 other payers who will need to complete a claim form.

A government spokesman said: "All Council Tax Rebate grants should be paid as soon as possible from April."

The government nationally is providing £3billion to local authorities to make rebates to an estimated 20 million households.

Earlier this month, neighbouring Swale Borough Council was criticised after it inadvertently deducted £150 from its residents' accounts instead of paying it in.

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