Council urges Direct debit drive to ease energy rebate payment for North Kesteven households

Eligible households in North Kesteven in Council Tax Bands A to D are being reminded that the forthcoming energy rebate will be distributed as a standalone payment, not as an adjustment to the Council Tax charge.

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SUS-220225-081845004

With distribution of the rebate for eligible households to ease the burden of escalating energy costs set to start from late April, those who do not already pay their Council Tax by direct debit are advised to set one up to ensure a smooth payment.

The government recently announced a £150 rebate for most households in Bands A to D in order to help with rising energy bills, using Council Tax account details to process the payment.

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But for the 14,000 Council Taxpayers within North Kesteven who are not signed up to direct debit (around a quarter) there could be delays in receiving the payment as each one will need to be contacted separately to get bank details.

As advocated by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, who says direct debit is the easiest, safest and most secure way of paying your Council Tax and the quickest way of getting the rebate, in order to smooth this process and help accelerate the payments, anyone who is not already signed up to direct debit is encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Go to www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/counciltax

The rebate will not show as a discount on the annual Council Tax bill, which will arrive around mid-March and should be paid in full as shown. The rebate will follow from late April onwards as a direct payment for most households in Bands A-D – automatically for those on direct debit.

North Kesteven District Council and City of Lincoln Council’s shared revenues and benefits team is preparing for this now.

Eligibility criteria can be found at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/energyrebate2022

There is no need to get in touch now on the rebate itself. It’s important however that anyone who has moved recently and not registered to pay Council Tax or who will be moving house on or before April 1 ensures their details are up to date. You can do so at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/counciltax

There will also be a discretionary fund for households in need but which are not otherwise eligible, with more information to be provided on this when available.

The shared service is not yet contacting bill payers to ask for bank details, so beware of any scam callers.

While North Kesteven District Council collects the entirety of the Council Tax charge, it only retains around nine percent of the total on an average bill – with the exact proportional breakdown of the bill dependent on any rate a town or parish council sets.

For a Band D property, the District Council element equates to £179.55 over the full year from April 1 for everything the District Council provides. Over the whole year this is an increase of £4.95; a 2.84% rise. With three-quarters of district households banded A to C, the District Council charge for the full year ranges from £120 to £160 in those bands, which is as low as £2.30 per week.

Lincolnshire County Council’s share accounts for around 72% of the total bill, with a charge of £1432.17 at Band D. This is an increase of 4.99% (£68.01) over the current year.

The police precept is £276.30 at Band D, which is a 3.75% rise (£9.99) and generally represents 14% of the total.

Together these three elements add up to a Band D total of £1,888.02, which is an increase of £82.95 on last year; a rise of 4.5%. The final bill may be impacted by a town or parish council’s charge which varies from place to place and, in some locations, a footway lighting charge of £4.49.

Precise figures apportioned according to your homes’ Banding will be shown on the bill sent in mid-March.

North Kesteven District Council Leader, Coun Richard Wright said: “Being of course very mindful of the increased costs of living and the importance of maintaining free and low-cost access to excellent services, such as our leisure and arts provision, countryside walks, support for those in financial hardship and various public protection and wellbeing measures, we have maintained only a moderate increase in the level of our Council Tax charge for the year ahead.

“For three-quarters of households living in Band A to C homes, this will be a rise of between £3.30 and £4.40 over the year, to between £120 and £160 for everything the District Council contributes to theirs and their communities’ lives.

“With the energy rebate offering a welcome and straightforward mechanism for financial relief, I strongly advise anyone who has not yet done so to set up a direct debit payment scheme; not least for the benefits it brings in the smooth payment of this £150 sum.”