Council shapes local support package as part of Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme
With Birmingham residents facing cost of living issues, the council has published details of support given to people through the discretionary element of the Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme
As well as the standard £150 made available to all households living in Band A-D homes nationally, the government provided councils with funding to operate a discretionary scheme for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible for a Council Tax rebate.
Here in Birmingham that extra funding amounted to £3.6million and a set of criteria was shaped by the council to distribute that money to people in need of support beyond the core scheme.
Birmingham’s discretionary scheme was modelled to assist households in Council Tax Bands E-H who are in receipt of the Council Tax support benefit and to offer additional support to pensioners and students in Bands A-D.
An additional £3.1million has been allocated to pensioners under the discretionary scheme in the form of a £90 top up, of which, £1.9million has already been paid out to 21,700 households via Post Office vouchers.
A £150 payment will be made to 1,400 citizens in receipt of Council Tax Support in bands E-H who didn’t qualify under the standard scheme. A further top up of £90 will also be made to around 500 pensioners in Bands E-H.
This is in addition to £5.1million that has already been paid out to 34,000 pensioners in receipt of Council Tax Support under the £150 main energy rebate scheme.
Cllr Yvonne Mosquito, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Birmingham City Council, said: “The cost of living crisis is affecting people in all parts of the city, living in all types of properties.
“Through our discretionary scheme we have tried to help some of the most vulnerable – regardless of where they live – who are most likely to be those impacted most by rising energy prices and inflation in general.
“This will not solve all problems and issues being faced by people struggling to make ends meet but it is a way in which we have been able to shape the support that is available at a local level for Birmingham residents.”
The discretionary scheme is open for eligible citizens to apply. Automatic payments, where bank details are known for those who are due to receive the extra money, are already underway
Council Tax accounts will be credited with the award where no applications are made and bank details are not available.
To find out more on the discretionary scheme, please visit the council’s dedicated webpage.