Thousands of Woking households could miss out on Council Tax rebate
Thousands of families in Woking may miss out on the Government's £150 Council Tax rebate to help with soaring energy bills, new figures have revealed.
26,515 properties across the area are in Council Tax bands A-D and so are eligible for the £150 rebate. But the Government's financial watchdog estimates that around a third of these will not be paying their Council Tax bill by Direct Debit and therefore won't automatically benefit from the help.
Of these, around 80% are expected to apply for the rebate, the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast.
It leaves around 1,753 households in Woking liable to miss out on the £150 support. Meanwhile, the Treasury is set to rake in £262,896 from this lack of take-up in the area - a slice of the £195 million they are set to make across the country.
Local Lib Dems are demanding that the Government fully fund councils to help them process the scheme. As a last resort, the Government should be prepared to post a £150 cheque to each eligible household in Woking that does not receive the Council Tax rebate , to ensure no-one misses out.
Lib Dem Group Leader on Woking Borough Council, Councillor Ann-Marie Barker, said:
"It is staggering that thousands of families in Woking could miss out because of this Conservative Government's half-baked plans. I worry for those who are older and less well-off who are likely to be disproportionately impacted by this because they do not pay their council tax by direct debit."
"People are facing sky-rocketing bills and plummeting living standards, but it looks like even the meagre support on offer from the Tories might not reach those who need it most in Woking."
"Woking's Conservative Council must work with the Government to ensure that every eligible household in our area benefits from this rebate, by hook or by crook. No-one should go without the help they need and we certainly don't want to be sending money back to the government rather than giving it to local people."