Coronavirus and your bills (Scotland)
Help with your Council Tax
Your 2020-2021 council tax bill
Some councils are changing the months during which they collect council tax payments for the 2020-2021 tax year. Instead of collecting payments from April 2020 to January 2021, some councils are collecting payments from June 2020 to March 2021. This means that if you usually pay your council tax in 10 instalments, the months that you would not pay council tax would be April and May 2020, rather than February and March 2021. Check with your council to see if they are making this change.
If your council is not making this change and you will struggle to pay your council tax in April 2020, contact your council and explain this to them.
Councils may give further help if you are dealing with exceptional circumstances.
Help from your energy provider
Energy providers have agreed that the disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended. Also, if you are self-isolating and unable to top up your pre-payment meter, you can:
- nominate a third party for credit top ups;
- have a discretionary fund added to your credit; or
- have a pre-loaded top up card sent so that your supply is not interrupted.
If you are struggling to manage repayments to your energy provider contact them to see what help they can provide. New guidance means that your debt repayments and bill payments could be reassessed, reduced or paused where necessary.
More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.
If you are a vulnerable person, you could ask your energy provider to place you on the Priority Services Register. The Priority Services Register can help to make sure that you receive all the appropriate support you need. You can find out who may be classed as vulnerable and what help is available by visiting Ofgem.
Help with your water bill.
In Scotland you’ll usually pay for your water through your council tax bill. However, if you have a water meter then you’ll pay Scottish Water. If you have a water meter and are struggling to pay your bill, contact Scottish Water to see how they can help.
Help from your mobile or broadband provider
Most of the main broadband and mobile companies have introduced a range of measures to try and help:
- Providers will help if you are struggling to pay your bill, they will make sure you are treated fairly. Contact them if you are struggling to pay your bill.
- They have committed to remove all data caps on fixed broadband services. Check with your provider if you aren’t sure if this applies to you.
- You could now be offered a new package to help you stay connected. Some of these packages include data boosts at low prices and free calls from home phones or mobiles. Contact your provider to see if you could benefit from this.
Help with your TV licence
TV Licensing have taken steps to help if you are struggling to pay your TV licence.
- If you are unable to keep up with payments, call them on 0300 555 0300 to see how they can help.
- All arrears letters have stopped being been sent to people who have fallen behind on payments.
- Collection visits by officers have also been stopped.
- If you are in financial hardship and urgently need to stop your Direct Debit payments, call them on 0300 790 6068. If you are unable to get through, cancel the Direct Debit with your bank. You will need to make up any payments that you miss later on.
TV Licensing has fewer staff answering calls at the moment so it will more difficult to speak to someone. If you need to make a payment, there are other ways you can try and pay.