Council encourages residents to sign up for direct debit amid new government scheme

North Tyneside Council are encouraging residents to sign up to pay their council tax through a direct debit following the Government’s council tax rebate announcement

The government’s announcement of a one-off £150 payment for households in council tax bands A to D has prompted encouragement from the council for residents to set up a direct debit.

The one-off payment is to be paid directly into the accounts of those eligible, and North Tyneside Council are aiming to make the first payments of this grant in May 2022 for those who pay their council tax by direct debit.

Those who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit are invited to make their claim online, with the council intending to write to those affected when the application process is opened.

Alternatives will be made available to those who cannot apply online or set up a direct debit.

Cllr Martin Rankin, cabinet member for Finance, said: “This scheme is a massive challenge for local councils across the country to deliver, with limited support from the government and limited guidance on how to get the payments to residents.

“We are dealing with around 94,000 households across North Tyneside and ensuring that all eligible residents receive the money they are entitled to, it is a massive priority for us and something we want to get right.

“To make the process easier and ensure that the money goes straight into bank accounts at the earliest opportunity, we are encouraging our residents to sign up to pay their council tax through a direct debit.

“This brings a number of benefits as well as meaning you’ll be one of the first to receive this payment.”

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The authority has been allocated a grant to provide funding in addition to the £150 payment, with information yet to be released about additional structures to the payment scheme.

Cllr Rankin continued: “This money will be a welcome lifeline for many of our residents who are feeling the impact from the increased cost of living, it is essential that we get this right and get the money to the people of North Tyneside.

“The Government must, however, provide us with the support and guidance to run this scheme successfully and to make sure no resident who needs help falls through the cracks.

“We have already seen confusion from residents when the scheme was branded a Council Tax Rebate and have received calls and enquiries from concerned people who think they have missed out on the cash boost.”