Council tax in Merton is set to rise by five per cent in April, the maximum allowed without a referendum.

But some households will be eligible for a 1 per cent rebate to help with the cost of living crisis. 

Those living in band A-D homes will be getting the rebate.

The increase will be discussed by the South London council’s cabinet on January 16 and the budget for 2023/24 is expected to be agreed at a meeting on March 1.

The council declared a cost of living emergency in July 2022 and in November handed out a £60 rebate to 10,900 residents who receive council tax support.

This totals £654,000, of which £454,000 comes from the the government’s Household Support Fund, provided to councils to help those most in need.

Council leader Ross Garrod said: “Merton was one of the first councils to declare a cost of living emergency, and we will continue to do everything we can to support residents who are counting the cost of rising prices.

“Our proposed one-off one per cent discount on council tax bills will benefit the majority of residents in the borough and those facing the toughest impacts.

"This is in addition to our £60 rebate for residents who receive tax support, and many more who have been helped through our £2million Cost of Living Fund.”

The council has allocated £100,000 of its cost of living fund to the voluntary sector and £400,000 to initiatives that reduce heating costs.

It also agreed for £630,000 to pay for free school meal vouchers between October 2022 and March 2023.

There is also a new debt support service run by Merton Citizens Advice Bureau in libraries across the borough.

Cabinet member for finance and corporate services, Councillor Billy Christie, added: “Like many residents, we are under unprecedented pressure to balance our budget, and all our services face soaring energy costs, rising bills and high inflation.”