After finally agreeing that Labour’s long called for Windfall Tax was in fact a good idea, the Chancellor appeared before the Treasury Committee to dissect his cost of living announcements. Because, as always, the devil is in the detail. That’s why I was so furious to learn that anyone who owns multiple homes will take home multiple payments! The more houses they own, the more support they will receive!
And so I asked the Chancellor how many second home owners would receive an £800 discount for their energy bills. The answer? 772,000 - a £620 million pound windfall!
I asked him how many people own three homes and are therefore in line for handouts totalling £1,200. The answer? 61,000 - a £73 million pound windfall.
I then asked him how much support he would be receiving for his energy bills. He quickly jumped in to say that he is giving his rebate to charity. Which is all very philanthropic. But as I pointed out to him, isn't this being philanthropic with other people's money? I reminded him of Margaret Thatcher's famous quote that there is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayer's money. At a time when the total tax burden has risen to
the highest level since the 1940s, is it really good use of taxpayer money for
somebody on the Sunday Times Rich List – or indeed for any MP or Government
Minister – to receive second home support when others are choosing between
heating and eating?
I then asked him about the timing of this support and what it was about the week of Sue Gray's partygate report that made him finally decide to intervene. For 5 long months he resisted Labour’s repeated call for a windfall tax, adding £53 million to
Britain’s household bills for every day of your dither and delay.
You can watch my questions here! https://twitter.com/Bounce_BackLoan/status/1533801055418474496
Claiming your council tax rebate
Meanwhile, I know that many families are
having a real tough time at the minute as the cost of living bites.
That’s why I’m writing to you
to make sure that you receive all of the Government support that you are eligible
for. I have organised 4 events across our constituency on how you can claim
your £150 council tax rebate if you are eligible and have not
received it already. These events will take place on Saturday 2nd July between 10:30 and 13:30 at the four libraries in our constituency -
Pollards Hill Library, Mitcham Library, Colliers Wood Library and Morden
Library. Please aim to arrive early in case there is a queue.
The addresses are as follows:
Pollards Hill Library: South Lodge Avenue, Mitcham, CR4 1LT
Mitcham Library: 157 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 2YR
Colliers Wood Library: 105-109 High Street, Colliers
Wood, SW19 2HR
Morden Library: Merton Civic Centre, London Road, SM4 5DX
All households who live in a
property in Council Tax Band A, B, C or D are eligible for a one-off £150
grant. If you pay your council tax by direct debit, you should have received
this already or be set to receive it imminently. However, if you pay your
council tax manually each month, which is the case for around 1 in 3
households, then you need to claim the grant manually as the council does not
have your bank details. To do so, please visit: www.merton.gov.uk/council-tax-benefits-and-housing/council-tax/energy-rebate. The deadline to claim is 4th July – after
which the Council will instead credit your council tax account with the funds.
If you would prefer this to happen then there is nothing you need to do.
I appreciate that you may
have questions regarding how to claim or whether you are eligible. You may also
need help accessing the form or be without internet access. That’s why I’m
organising events at our libraries on Saturday 2nd July between
10:30 – 13:30. Please pop down – there will be lots of laptops, volunteers and
staff to help you. You will need to bring a copy of your bank statement and a
copy of your council tax bill – both are required as part of the form. There
will also be council tax officers, benefit and debt advisers, and your recently
elected local councillors – all available to chat and offer guidance on these
or any other concerns.
If you live in a property in
council tax band E, F, G or H, you may be eligible for some support after 4th July. This will be announced by the Council after this date. Please review
their website www.merton.gov.uk/council-tax-benefits-and-housing/council-tax/energy-rebate or call the Merton Council tax team on 020 8274 5706.
Please also be aware that this support is separate from the recently announced
energy bill support scheme, whereby every household will be eligible for at
least £400. Full details will be announced by the Government soon.
I hope that these events are
helpful so that we can ensure that everyone eligible for the £150 council tax
rebate receives it. Please do let your friends, family and neighbours know too.