Residents in Epping Forest could be waiting months for a council tax rebate aimed at mitigating the rising cost of living if they don’t apply to the council by September.

Epping Forest District Council said it will be writing to people living in the district asking them to apply for the £150 council tax rebate announced by the government earlier this year.

The council has been awarded approximately £4.8million by the government to provide the rebate, introduced in response to rising energy and goods prices, to its residents, enough for 32,000 council tax-paying households.

Responding to questions at a meeting last night (April 5), John Philip (Con, Theydon Bois), who is responsible for finance, Qualis client & economic development, said the £150 will automatically be paid into people’s bank accounts by the end of this month if they already pay council tax by direct debit.

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However, he told the meeting if residents do not currently pay by direct debit, they will have to apply to the council and provide it with their bank account details by September.

Cllr Philip said: “All in all we want to be able to do with this £150 much the same as we did back at the beginning of Covid, which is get it out quickly to the people who need it.

“So if there are people out there that don’t pay by direct debit, do get back in touch with us, do respond to us when we write out and we will do our best to get that money to you as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this year, the national government announced the rebate in response to the cost of living crisis.

Rising energy and fuel prices, bills and inflation, along with a rise in national insurance and a lowering of the salary threshold for student loans, are hitting many households financially.

According to the government website, the rebate will not need to be paid back, and those paying council tax on a property in bands A-D are eligible.

The council had a £400,000 discretionary fund for households living in properties in higher bands.

Cllr Philip said this is likely to be used for people who are “property rich but poor in terms of income”.

This will not exceed £150 per household and will be granted by application.

In March, the district council voted to increase council tax by £5 to £157.46 for a Band D property.



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