Thousands of Milton Keynes households have failed to claim £150 handout to help with cost of living crisis
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MK Council vowed give the money as a one-off council tax credit to help around 3,000 city households through the cost of living crisis.
Eligible people were encouraged to apply for the scheme, but there was been a low uptake among residents, especially pensioners and older people, say councillors.
Now the council has taken matters into its own hands and is giving out the £150 payments directly to all households that are eligible.
These are households that are already in receipt of some form of council tax reduction.
The council is now writing to all those who who have not claimed to inform them the cash will be automatically credited to their bank account.
Councillor Rob Middleton, who is the Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet member for Resources, said: “The council tax credit will reach accounts in time for the Autumn, which is when we can expect the cost of living to go through the roof.”
He added: "Many pensioners haven’t yet claimed their council tax reduction, so I’m pleased that they will not be missing out on the financial help, especially as they are expected to be hit hard by the hike in energy bills.”
In addition to delivering a council tax reduction scheme, the Progressive Alliance is providing £18m in direct cost of living support this year. This includes more than £3 million to freeze concessionary public transport fares, and £150,000 to maintain a Local Welfare Provision Scheme, which can help residents in need by providing items such as beds, cookers, and fridge freezers.
Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance Cabinet member for Tackling Social Inequalities, said: “Thousands of households will be receiving credit in the next couple of months so that they can put this money they would’ve spent on council tax towards heating their home or putting dinner on the table.”
She added: "The cost of living crisis is devastating families across the city and the Progressive Alliance will do all we can to support families through it.”