An extra £150 of discount is now available to certain residents.
Coronavirus has affected households in many different ways, but financial issues are definitely one of the most stressful side effects of the UK’s lockdown. Reduced hours at work, furlough payments and even job loss – there’s no denying that some people are doing it a lot tougher financially due to the outbreak.
The South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are aware of the financial difficulties affecting their local communities and have released information that they hope will help people manage their council tax payments.
Cllr Leigh Rawlins, Cabinet Member for Finance at South Oxfordshire District Council, said:
“We are obviously concerned that if people are struggling to pay bills at the moment they could experience much more challenging financial debt problems in a few months’ time. We are therefore writing to people who have missed all, or part of, a recent payment to let them know about the support that’s available. Above all, our message is – if you are struggling to pay, please contact us.”
Due to the fact that the Government did not suspend council tax payments during the pandemic, council tax payments are still due and payable each month. As of today, 1 July 2020, more than 6,000 household’s council tax bill payments are marked as overdue, causing the local Councils to issue advise urging anyone struggling to make payments to get in touch with their local Council to discuss their options.
In addition, residents already receiving a reduction on their council tax via the councils’ Council Tax Reduction scheme, will receive up to a further £150 off their 2020/21 council tax bill. The councils are currently writing to all eligible residents to let them know.
Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance at Vale of White Horse District Council, said:
“These are very uncertain times and we know that there will be many people who are now struggling to pay their bills. We want to do what we can to help make sure that your council tax doesn’t add to those worries, so please get in touch with us if you are having trouble paying. Given the potential impact of the current situation on those already on low income I’m pleased that we have been able to provide up to £150 additional discount to those on the Council Tax Reduction scheme.”
Further, if you are not eligible for a discount but are worried about being able to afford your council tax, council’s are advising that there are other options available. These include:
- rescheduling council tax instalments so that they start later or are spread over a longer time;
- applying for council tax support – the councils’ council tax reduction scheme can help reduce the amount of council tax people have to pay – visit www.southoxon.gov.uk/ctrs or whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ctrs for details;
- making payment, setting up a Debit Debit, or changing payment arrangements online via southoxon.gov.uk/counciltax or whitehorsedc.gov.uk/counciltax.