A RADCLIFFE resident with disabilities has criticised the council over its rollout of the energy bills rebate, saying the lack of payment to some households is “unforgiveable".

Tony Johnson, 54, says rising gas prices mean he can only afford to heat a single room of his one-bedroom bungalow and believes the £150 payment would be “a big help” for people struggling to cope.

The council began making the payment at the start of this month to households in bands A to D who pay their council tax through direct debit.

After the scheme was announced in March, Tony said he set up automatic payments but as his first instalment was only taken in May, he was ineligible to receive the rebate along with a longstanding direct debit. Earlier this month, a council spokesperson assured residents that they “should have received their payment” by May 22.

Tony said: “(The council) are moving the goal posts too much.

“The increase in the prices is astronomical and (the rebate) would help me greatly at the minute with that, with any utility or even the council tax itself if they just docked it off the bill to make things easier.”

The council said it has made payments to around 46,000 people since the rollout began, around 87 per cent households who pay council tax by direct debit.

However, it has advised that anyone who does not pay their council tax automatically will need to wait longer for the rebate to be paid.

Tony added: “(The council) might be thinking that I’m being petty about it, but for certain people out there, they’re starting to struggle badly”

Tony who has lived in his bungalow since 2017, claims ESA and PIP and has been treated for emphysema and heart problems.

As Universal Credit payments do not always arrive on the same date, Tony says many who claim it will pay their council tax manually, and it is these households that will experience the rebate delay.

“There are people out there who are desperate for this money, there’s people out there who probably have a bit more money and think ‘I can wait a minute'.

“But when you’ve got people who are struggling from day-to-day living, especially people with disabilities that could do with it today, or yesterday rather than the next day or the next two months. Well to me that’s unforgiveable.”

The council has been approached for a comment about Tony's tax rebate situation.