Pay council tax by direct debit for faster payment of £150 for energy bills
Posted on Wednesday March 16th, 2022
THE City Council is calling on Leicester residents to introduce direct debit payments to pay council tax, to reduce the time frame in which they receive £150 government aid to help with rising costs energy.
Most households in AD municipal tax brackets will be eligible for the one-time payment.
The municipality will be able to pay the money to people who pay their housing tax by direct debit because it has their bank details. However, about 70,000 people in the city do not pay their taxes this way.
The government says these households will have to claim the payment. This will not allow the council to deduct the £150 from their council tax bills unless they request it.
This means the council’s finance team must put in place a new system to allow such households to either provide their bank details and claim the £150, or request that their council tax bill be reduced.
Each complaint will have to be verified and processed individually, which will inevitably delay the payments made. If these households do not apply by September, they will lose the money.
Council is also concerned that with the energy bill support funding allocated to municipal ratepayers, some landlords who pay their tenants’ tax, but do not pay their energy bills, will receive the support and not the people who need it.
Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “Any support the government can provide to help those facing this cost of living crisis is of course welcome. However, not enough thought has been given to whether the funds will reach all those who really need them and how councils will be able to process these payments.
“Our finance team is already processing hundreds of applications for the Household Support Grant and the new omicron Business Grant. Officers are also designing a system to allow this new funding to flow to everyone who qualifies, including those who don’t have a bank account at all.
“I urge anyone with a bank account to register online before the end of March to pay their council tax by direct debit, as this will allow them to pay you much faster.”
City residents can sign up to pay by direct debit on the council’s website here
Leicester has over 140,000 properties on its council tax list, 95% of which are in the AD bands. The town hall does not have the bank details of around 70,000 of them.
More information on the £150 government payment can be found here