Households and business owners significantly affected by recent flooding will have immediate relief on their council tax and business rates, the Prime Minister announced today (15 November 2019).
The measure was announced following the first meeting of the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce yesterday, chaired by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to support communities as they respond to this serious emergency.
Under the measures, households and businesses which have been intensely affected by the flooding will be eligible for 100% relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next 3 months.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
It will take time for communities to get back on their feet, and hard-working people and businesses who have experienced intense flooding should not have to worry about paying council tax and business rates while they focus on their recovery.
Funding announced today will give all eligible, flooded households and businesses immediate relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next 3 months, and help communities recover.
Measures announced today means a home owner in a Band D property in Doncaster could see a saving of over £400 over 3 months – helping them back on their feet following the floods.
Today’s announcement follows a series of measures introduced by the government to respond to the severe weather in the North of England and the Midlands and support communities’ recovery:
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) activated the emergency Bellwin scheme on the first day of the flooding. Under Bellwin, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.
MHCLG is providing a Community Recovery Grant to local councils – equivalent to £500 per eligible household – to help communities and vulnerable people in areas severely affected by the flooding with their immediate recovery.
The department has deployed Recovery Liaison Officers to the most intensely affected local authorities who will work closely with all councils and Local Resilience Forums.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing funding for a Business Recovery Grant which will provide up to £2,500 per eligible small and medium-sized businesses which have suffered severe impacts from the floods that cannot be recovered from insurance.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has extended its Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the recent flooding. Through this scheme, farmers and land managers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their property will be able to apply for grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover repair costs.
The government set up the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, attended by Ministers and representatives from local councils to ensure their voices are heard. The taskforce will meet daily to provide local areas with bespoke support and guidance.
The public can check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.