The Government has announced a £150 council tax rebate – to be paid direct to eligible households via local councils from April.
The rebate is one element of a wider package of plans by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support families amid rising global energy costs.
Full details are yet to be announced, but the statement says this one-off payment will be made on behalf of government, by local authorities, direct to eligible households in council tax bands A-D.
It also said that eligible households paying council tax by direct debit should automatically receive the £150.
Councillor Bob Sleigh OBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder – Resources, said: “We won’t know exactly who is eligible until the detailed guidance comes from Government - but as a Council we want to ensure we are as prepared as we can be to process payments efficiently.
“What we do know so far is that if you’re in council tax band A-D and you meet the eligibility criteria you will be eligible for the £150 payment from April and if you pay council tax by direct debit it should be automatic.
“Our priority is to make sure every Solihull resident entitled to this payment gets it as soon as possible – so if you don’t yet pay by direct debit, I’d urge you to sign up now.”
Currently Solihull has around 67,462 properties in council tax bands A–D – which means processing payments will be quite a logistics challenge.
It would be a huge help to the Council – and to residents – for as many households as possible to pay council tax by direct debit.
Not only would this mean more efficient council tax collection, it would also cut Council spending on things like paper, envelopes and postage, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
Cllr Sleigh said the best advice to residents is to set up an online account as the easiest, most efficient and secure way to interact with the Council.
He said: “Ideally people should sign up for an online Council customer account where they will then be able to set up a council tax direct debit, which is by far the safest way.
“If you’re struggling to do this yourself, or need some help, you can telephone our contact centre, who will be able to advise or set it up for you over the phone.
“Then, if you’re eligible, you should be at the front of the queue for your payment.”
Or call the contact centre for help on 0121 704 8100.
The Council website will be updated with full details as they come from Government.