Coronavirus: £150 council tax discount announced for people struggling in Birmingham
People receiving council tax support in Birmingham will have £150 slashed off their bill and will not have to start paying until the autumn.
Birmingham City Council has said it will use the £17.4 million Council Tax Hardship Fund allocated to Birmingham by the Government to automatically discount bills for those receiving council tax support.
The measures are intended to help those who are struggling financially as a result of coronavirus.
The authority said updated bills will be issued from May, and payment instalments on the outstanding bills will be deferred until the autumn.
The council previously stated payments would be deferred until June.
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The council said it has been receiving an additional 500 applications for council tax support each week since the start of the lockdown.
Council tax support is means-tested and determined by factors including the income and capital of the claimant and claimant’s partner.
The council states that once the Council Tax Hardship Fund discount is applied, “the average outstanding bill in Birmingham will be in the region of £80” although residents will not be required to make any payments until the autumn.
Councillor Brigid Jones, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We are doing everything within our powers to help people who are struggling financially as a result of Covid-19.
“The first step is to apply for council tax support which will provide the gateway to the Council Tax Hardship Fund and deferred payments.
“We want to eliminate any unnecessary stress and pressure at this time so once people are in receipt of council tax support, they don’t need to do anything else and can just leave it to us.
“We will automatically apply the £150 relief and send a new bill with the outstanding balance and deferral details, including when the first payment is due, later in the year.”
Anyone looking for more information on the support available to residents during Covid-19, including council tax support, is asked to visit birmingham.gov.uk and search “support for residents”.
By Local Democracy Reporter Mark Cardwell