Households get £1,000 tax break for taking in Ukrainian refugees

Those who claim a 25% single occupancy discount on their council tax bill are also protected from losing that discount when hosting a Ukrainian refugee

Refugees from Ukraine at a train station in eastern Poland's Przemysl
Refugees from Ukraine at a train station in eastern Poland’s Przemysl

Brits who open their second homes to refugees from Ukraine get a 50% rebate on their council tax bill worth up to £1,000.

Those claiming a 25% single occupancy rebate on their council tax bill are also protected from forfeiting this rebate.

It is part of the government’s plans to encourage households to welcome Ukrainian families into their homes.

Ministers have already confirmed a cash payment of £350 as a thank you to hosts participating in the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme.

Paying £350 will not affect your council tax bill either.

Refugee Secretary Lord Harrington today unveiled the changes in legislation to protect single households.

Five weeks have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine


Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)

He said: “The generosity of the public has been amazing and I want to sincerely thank them for their continued support and for opening their homes to those who need it most.

“These rules will help ensure sponsors are not rightly penalized financially by opening up their homes and provide clarity to local governments as they help us deliver this landmark program.”

Have you signed up for the Homes for Ukraine program? Let us know:

Homes for Ukraine launched on March 14 with the aim of providing shelter and housing to refugees fleeing the war in Russia.

Councils will also receive £10,500 to fund education, English learning, safeguards and social care.

Figures show only 1,200 refugees have arrived via the Homes for Ukraine route, while 10,800 Ukrainians have moved to the UK to live with relatives under a family scheme.

And this despite the fact that the government has received 79,800 visa applications and has issued 40,900 visas so far. Five weeks have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Britain requires refugees to obtain a visa before entering the country, unlike other European countries, which have waived checks to speed things up.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has apologized for the time it took to get a new visa system for Ukrainian refugees up and running – what Labor called the figures “scandalous and shameful”.

Ms Patel told the BBC: “I apologize myself with frustration… it takes time to start a new route.”

However, the Home Secretary denied that visa requirements and controls are slowing down the process and causing delays.

Labour’s shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper called on Ms Patel “to hold herself accountable for this national disgrace”.

A government spokeswoman said: “In response to Putin’s barbaric invasion, we have launched one of the fastest and largest visa programs in UK history.

“In just four weeks over 40,000 visas have been issued to help people rebuild their lives in the UK.”

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