Residents ‘sick to back teeth’ as council tax bills surge to over £2,000
Local councils worried about council tax rebate scams
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Recent analysis from the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that 171 authorities in England saw tax bills hit over £2,000. This represents a 64 percent increase from last year, with 55 percent of local authorities now charging more than £2,000 for a band D bill. Overall, the think tank’s research showed that council tax bills have risen by 246 percent since 1993-94.
Residents in Rutland have the highest band D tax bills in the country at £2,300, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Meanwhile, those living in Westminster have the lowest council tax bills in England at £866.
While the Government has made various support schemes, such as the council tax rebate available to households, many do not believe it goes far enough.
Harry Fone, a grassroots campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, warned that the recent hikes to council tax will only worsen the current cost of living crisis.
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Discussing how everyday households are being hit with extortionate tax bills, Mr Fone explained: “Residents are sick to the back teeth of endless council tax rises.
“We’re in the middle of a cost of living crisis and the last thing taxpayers need is more pressure trying to make ends meet every month.
“Every local authority must face up to reality and become more efficient by scrapping wasteful projects and stopping bumper pay rises for staff.”
To help those in need, the Government announced that households in bands A to D will get a £150 council tax rebate.
All together, every person included in these tax brackets make up 80 percent of all people in the country, according to Government statistics.
In light of this support to address the energy bill rise, many taxpayers will be looking to apply for this support.
However, there is no need to worry about applications as the rebate will be automatically given to eligible households.
On top of this, households do not need to pay back the £150 discount to their local council which will come as a relief to many.
Outside of the rebate, support via the Council Tax Discretionary Relief (CTDR) is available for those who are unable to pay their bill due to exceptional circumstances and claim the council tax reduction.
However, households not in tax bands A to D will be unable to claim any support through the rebate.
Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, believes this will hurt pensioners the worst with her organisation predicting that one in five older households will miss out on the discount.
Ms Abrahams said: “The Government must do more to help them by expanding eligibility for the rebate scheme, or through some other mechanism that puts additional cash into their hands.
“The Chancellor paused the triple lock guarantee to the state pension this year on the basis that the increase in average earnings at the time was a temporary blip due to the pandemic.
“Since then, prices have soared so next month’s planned 3.1 percent increase is only a drop in the ocean compared to the sharp rises in energy and other costs confronting us all.
“As things stand, at Age UK we simply cannot see how older people who have no other sources of income besides their state pension and benefits will be able to pay the higher prices they face.
“Those with few if any savings are out of options and their only hope now is that the Government will recognise their difficulties and extend a helping hand.”
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