• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Low income households in Cherwell to receive support with cost of living

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 28, 2022

People on low incomes will be receiving extra support with the cost of living in the coming days as discretionary energy payments start to land in their bank accounts.

The payments are fully funded by central government grants to Cherwell District Council and residents will not be paying anything extra on their council tax as a result.

The move follows on from the over £5.5 million in £150 energy rebates paid by the council earlier in the year.

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Depending on whether they have already received this, all households who get council tax reduction (CTR) will now receive the payments of either £30 or £180.

Councillor Adam Nell, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “This new round of payments follows on from the £150 council tax rebates many households received earlier in the year.

“The idea is that low-income households in bands A-D who receive council tax reduction get that rebate topped up by a further £30, to a total of £180.

“If you are in bands E-F you won’t have received the initial £150 so you will get the £180 in one single payment.

“We’re distributing over £219,000 to these two groups and if they pay their council tax by direct debit it will reach their bank accounts this week.

“We are acutely aware of the pressure the increasing cost of living is placing on low-income households, and I hope these payments help towards alleviating that for people on lower incomes in our area.”

People do not need to apply for these discretionary payments, they are being paid automatically using the bank account details connected to their council tax accounts.

People who have previously supplied their bank details to the council for the £150 energy rebates will also be paid the £30 top-up automatically.

For the eligible households who do not pay by direct debit, the same amounts are being added to their council tax accounts as credits.

Council tax payers who don’t already receive CTR but think they may be entitled to it can find out more and apply on the council website www.cherwell.gov.uk/ctr.

Cherwell District Council wrote on their website that the CTR scheme for those of working age changed in 2020 following a consultation exercise.

It changed because the scheme did not work effectively with the government’s Universal Credit system and customers were experiencing multiple changes in their CTR and council tax bill throughout the year.

The new income banded scheme will continue to protect more vulnerable members of the public and those who are on ‘passported’ benefits such as income support.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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