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Thousands of London families could be on the verge of missing out on a £150 council tax rebate

Thousands of families in London could miss out on a £150 government council tax rebate to help with soaring energy bills, new figures have revealed. Londoners in AD council tax brackets are eligible for an automatic £150 rebate to help with the cost of living crisis from April 1.

However, the government’s financial watchdog estimates that around a third of them do not pay their council tax bill by direct debit and will therefore not automatically qualify for the aid. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, a fifth of them are not expected to apply for the refund, putting them at risk of missing out altogether. In Lewisham, 7,599 households are expected to miss the £150 discount, closely followed by 7,284 in Lambeth and another 7,147 in Southwark. In these three boroughs alone, the Treasury is expected to recover £3.3million in unclaimed rebates.

London’s poorest boroughs are missing out the most, with wealthy Kensington and Chelsea having just 1,816 households likely to miss out on the rebate, and the City of London just 116. The Liberal Democrats are demanding the government fully funds the councils to help them. process the program and make sure everyone who qualifies gets it. As a last resort, the government must also be prepared to send a check for £150 to each eligible household who have not received council tax refunds, to ensure no one misses out, the party said.

READ MORE: ‘I pay over £2,000 a year in council tax but we have no library or pool and I’ve gone 6 weeks without bin collection’

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey MP says government should be ready to send checks to anyone who would otherwise miss out

Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton Ed Davey said: ‘It is staggering that thousands of families in London could go missing because of the half-baked plans of this Conservative government. I worry about the older and less well-off who are likely to be disproportionately impacted because they do not pay council tax by direct debit. People are facing skyrocketing bills and plummeting standards of living, but it looks like even the meager support offered by the Tories might not be reaching those who need it most.

“The government must provide more support to councils to roll out this refund and ensure that every eligible household can benefit from it. As a last resort, ministers should also pledge to send a check for £150 by post to anyone in our area who is missing. No one should be without the help they need because of this Conservative government’s incompetence.

The lack of direct debit for those who do not pay by direct debit amounts to £195million going to the Treasury, equivalent to 1.3million families missing the £150 per council tax refund in all of England. When a municipality holds direct direct debit instructions for a municipal taxpayer liable to an eligible household, it has been asked to make an automatic payment as soon as possible during the 2022-23 financial year once he checked eligibility and bank details.

A government statement said: ‘Where a council does not hold direct direct debit instructions for an eligible household, the government expects them to make every reasonable effort to contact the household as soon as possible. possible to inform him of the program and invite him to make a complaint.”

Josiah joined MyLondon as the first City Hall Editor in October 2021, reporting on the Mayor, London Assembly, Met Police, Transport for London and wider London politics.

He moved from Brussels to south London in 2015, working in communications for the Electoral Reform Society and covering Westminster politics as a freelance journalist. Originally from Cornwall, he is now also a proud Londoner. Josiah has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Times Radio, LBC and other outlets to discuss the news and general political chaos.

If you have an untold story – whether it’s a housing nightmare, an unfair decision or a local scandal, reach out to us at [email protected] or contact Josiah at Twitter.

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