Information from Buckinghamshire Council:
|Buckinghamshire residents living in homes under Council Tax bands A-D will begin receiving their £150 rebate payments from next week (w/c Mon 2 May). This is part of the national scheme to off-set the rise in energy costs.
Some residents who live in homes in Bands E-H who receive certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance will also be able to claim money back on their Council Tax under Buckinghamshire Council’s own scheme, which aims to provide extra support for those who need it but who don’t qualify for the national Bands A-D scheme.
Buckinghamshire residents who pay Council Tax by Direct Debit, and whose home is in Band A to D or who qualify for the Buckinghamshire Council scheme under Bands E-H, will automatically get the £150 back in their bank account in the next few weeks. If residents pay by another method, they will be contacted directly by letter about how to claim the payment.
The Council is also topping up payments under both schemes through its own ‘Helping Hand’ programme, meaning some residents will also be eligible for an extra £25 payment on top of the other payments.
Overall, the Council Tax rebates and £25 ‘top ups’ are designed to help as many residents as possible as households face rising fuel and energy prices and increases in other living costs.
Martin Tett is Leader of Buckinghamshire Council. He said:
“We wanted to go above and beyond the national scheme to offer extra support to Bucks residents, hence designing our own scheme under our ‘Helping Hand’ programme. This means we can offer additional payments to a wider number of residents.
“We’ve taken an approach here in Buckinghamshire to get this money out as quickly as possible, avoiding lengthy application or means testing processes. We want as many people in need as possible to be able to access this cash at a time it’s really needed, hence linking our own scheme to those already in receipt of certain benefits.
“Overall, we hope around half of all Buckinghamshire households will be able to claim payments under these schemes, which I hope will make a difference. I don’t lose sight of how squeezed household bills are at the moment so please reach out and access support if you are worried about money and the cost of living, whether you qualify for these schemes or not. Our Helping Hand programme is there to offer help and support to all residents who need it.”