Decision Maker: Director (Resources and Property)
Decision status: Implemented
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
In accordance with the attached Officer Decisions Record, the Director (Resources and Property) has made a decision on the extension of the Council Tax Energy Rebate “Discretionary Scheme”, in order to ensure the available funds are paid to local residents in need of support.
The Director (Resources and Property) has made a decision on the extension of the Council Tax Energy Rebate “Discretionary Scheme” in order to ensure the available funds are paid to local residents in need of support. This is in accordance with the details contained in the attached Officer Decision Record.
· Councils are required to develop local arrangements for distributing the energy rebate funding from Government.
· The funding is critical to supporting householders who are impacted by rising energy prices
· The decision was within the delegation given to the Director for Resources and Property
· The principles set out above have arisen from work by Council officers, including expert operational advice from Anglia Revenues Partnership, in order to identify the arrangements that will: target the most vulnerable groups and those most in need of financial support for rising energy costs; not result in high administration costs; enable as many residents as possible to easily access the money, even if they don’t pay Council Tax by direct debit; and ensure payments can be made quickly.
Other options include:
- Running an application process
- Making top-up payments to all previous recipients of the energy rebate.
- Writing to all direct debit payers to ask them to apply for the grant
- Putting in place no, or a different time limit for non-direct debit payers to contact the Council with payment details.
Following consideration, all of these options were dismissed on the grounds of their overlooking of vulnerable groups; negative implications for speed of payment; volume of customers to whom payments can be made quickly; partial coverage of vulnerable groups (as an application would rely on communication); extremely small amounts of assistance; or excessive cost to the public purse in terms of administrative burden.
An assessment of the equalities implications of the decision was carried out, and it was determined that using DHP and HSF as proxies for financial hardship did not disproportionally exclude any groups sharing a protected characteristic.
Publication date: 21/11/2022
Date of decision: 18/11/2022