Youngsters leaving care in Southwark exempt from council tax

Chiara Giordano (21 December, 2017) Politics

Care leavers aged between eighteen and 24 will be automatically exempt from paying council tax from March

8116Southwark Council's Tooley Street offices

Young people leaving care in Southwark will be exempt from paying council tax from next year.

Southwark councillors voted to make care leavers aged between eighteen and 24 automatically exempt from paying the tax from March.

The decision was backed by The Children’s Society, which led a campaign encouraging local authorities to waive council tax payments for those leaving care.

Research from the national charity revealed council tax debt can be a particularly frightening experience for care leavers.

Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for finance, modernisation and performance, said: “Children in care have already faced significant challenges and it is only right that we give care leavers a helping hand as they take the next steps in their lives.

“I am pleased and incredibly proud that we are officially supporting the Children’s Society’s campaign and agreeing to exempt our eighteen to 24-year-old care leavers from Southwark council tax.”

Sam Royston, director of policy and research at The Children’s Society, said: “Care leavers have often experienced a really difficult upbringing and they may have experienced abuse, neglect or family breakdown which can have a big impact upon their life chances.

“Without the family support most young people get as they become adults, care leavers often struggle to juggle their household bills and make ends meet.”

They added: “We’re delighted that Southwark Council is adopting this exemption, which will make life easier for many young people making the move into independent living.”

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