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Council tax payments to restart for thousands

Residents who applied for Ealing’s three-month council tax payment holiday are required to start making payments again in July. Self-employed residents can benefit from an extra three months postponement and can defer their next payment until October.

Advice and help with council tax and, other bills, is available to residents who are experiencing financial hardship. Those on low incomes with little savings may be able to get help with their payments though Ealing’s council tax support scheme. Residents must make an application to Ealing Council separate to their benefit claim.

A new financial advice section has been set up on the council’s website and the Ealing’s local welfare assistance team is also on hand to help with budgeting and debt advice and help to those that qualify. In addition, the Ealing Advice Service is a free, independent service available to everyone who lives in the borough.

The three-month council tax payment holiday was brought in at the start of lockdown to help Ealing residents that were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed residents to delay their regular payments until later in the year. More than 2100 residents have taken advantage of the scheme.

Support during lockdown

The council tax holiday was introduced at the same time as a wider £1.5m COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The fund has been supporting essential community services during the lockdown. Grant funding has been awarded to voluntary sector organisations, as well as providers of community services and nurseries.

An exceptional hardship fund was also set up to help residents experiencing great difficulty due to COVID-19. This has been used to support the additional demand on the council’s local welfare assistance team who help people in financial crisis, including those experiencing delayed benefits payments.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure, said: “COVID-19 has hit people in many ways, especially financially, and our payment break was designed to give residents some temporary respite if they were experiencing hardship. Payments are now restarting for those that are not self-employed and its important that people stay on top of their council tax bills.

“If your circumstances have changed over the past few months, and you are worried about how you are going to pay your council tax bill then get in touch. If you do one thing today, look at our financial help pages to see what support you could qualify.  Talk to us or a relevant organisation about the potential support on offer and. You may be entitled to support in other ways you weren’t aware of, so the sooner you get in touch, the better.”

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