Andrew McKegney
By Andrew McKegney

Senior Staff Writer

8 February 2021

| | 1 min read

Help with Council Tax

Thousands of hard-up residents in Newcastle struggling to cope in the pandemic will receive extra financial help from the City Council.

Civic Centre
Civic Centre

The council will ease the burden of Council Tax by giving eligible working age households up to £160 towards their bill. 

In all 16,000 households will receive nil bills. A further 14,000 will have their bills reduced.

It means for two years in a row 16,000 households in Newcastle have been excused from paying Council Tax and a further 14,000 have received additional support during difficult economic times. 

The council is targeting all its £5.5m share from the Government’s £670m hardship fund at struggling residents.

Those that will benefit include

•             Working age households in receipt of Council Tax reduction

•             The self-employed in hardship and receiving Council Tax reduction

•             Families struggling to pay

•             People in receipt of the extra £20 per week in Universal Credit - if the Government commits to extending this in 2021-22

Deputy council leader, Cllr Joyce McCarty, said: “We know from the numbers of people at foodbanks and the job losses that many families in Newcastle are really struggling right now.

“The city has responded magnificently - but the cries for help, in so many ways, keep coming. We remain steadfast in our determination to help those people who are struggling, which is why we are supporting families to pay their Council Tax bill.

“This has taken thousands of people out of paying the tax altogether so will be one less bill for them to worry about.

“Times are tough but be assured the council, and its partners have a laser focus on helping the least well off to get through this and out the other end when things will get better.”

In addition to helping pay council tax, the council has paid out:

•             £230,000 in Test & Trace Support Payments to 460 people

•             £110,000 in winter fuel payments to 3,636 families

•             Met 8,000 new claims for council tax reduction

•             Supported 895 families with crisis support

•             Supported over 11,000 families with food vouchers to feed their children in the school holidays

•             Supported 1,737 people/families with discretionary housing payments

Any Council Tax support money left over, once all priority cases are helped, will go to other households to help them pay their Council Tax.

Residents who currently receive Council Tax support do not need to contact the council. It will automatically issue a new Council Tax bill in the next few weeks.

As well as families, the council has supported businesses by giving business rates retail relief, business support, lockdown, and local restriction grants.