Computer code blunder delays £150 council tax rebate for thousands

The council are paying residents a £150 rebate amid the increasing cost of living crisis that has left many struggling. 

A computer issue has contributed to delays in people in Norwich getting their £150 council tax rebates - Credit: PA

Thousands of households in Norwich are still waiting for their council tax rebates - after a computer problem stopped people claiming their £150.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the rebate for householders in bands A to D to help combat the cost of living crisis back in February.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering his Spring Statement in the House of Commons, Lon

Chancellor Rishi Sunak - Credit: PA

Norwich City Council has paid about 34,000 rebates to those who pay by direct debit, as it already had their bank account details.

But City Hall has had to contact others by letter telling them how they can get their rebate - and that is taking longer than hoped after a computer issue.

Some 5,700 households were sent letters telling them they could apply online, only for people to find a code they were given to do so did not work due to computer issues.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “Every time central government asks us to process a local payment, whether that’s business grants or a rebate, we need to set up a new workable, secure process to get the money to our residents.

"We understand exactly how important the rebate payments are to so many – and were the first Norfolk council to start paying out the rebate.

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"We’re doing our very best to make the remaining payments as quickly as possible.

"We’re really sorry there was initially an issue for some of our residents being able to receive their rebate as quickly as we wanted.

"Thankfully we spotted the problem in the early stages which meant a minority of those eligible were affected, and now the problem has been ironed out.”

Aerial view of Norwich City Hall.

City Hall in Norwich - Credit: Mike Page

Apology letters were sent and new codes are being issued - at a cost of £5,000.

The council said the remaining 20,000 households will receive letters over the next couple of weeks so they can claim their rebate.

In Broadland, some £6.8m of rebates have been distributed to more than 45,500 households. with 4,569 yet to be paid.

And in South Norfolk, almost 45,000 payments - totalling almost £6.7m - have been made, with 5,459 outstanding.

Those councils say all eligible people have been contacted and households which do not respond will have their council tax accounts automatically credited with £150.