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Care leavers to get Staffordshire council tax exemption

Young adults leaving county council care in Staffordshire will be exempt from paying council tax until they are 21.

Staffordshire County Council has announced that people previously under the authority’s care and currently living in Staffordshire will not have to pay council tax, in order to help in their transition to adulthood.

The measures were announced at the county council’s cabinet meeting today (Wednesday), and will come into force on April 1.

It is estimated that around 300 care leavers in the county will benefit from the scheme.

County Councillor Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young people explained that care leavers, moving into accommodation and handling finances for the first time, can find it extremely challenging to manage their own budgets.

He said:

“When a young adult leaves care and moves into their own accommodation, this can often be the first time they have had to deal with bills and debt.  Care leavers don’t always have the family and support networks available for most young adults, so living independently can be a challenge in the first few years.

“Much in the same way that students are exempt from paying council tax while they are at university, we want to help young care leavers by making them exempt from paying council tax until they are 21.  We want these people to make a successful transition from being in care to living in the community, and research from The Children’s Society shows that council tax debt can be a serious barrier to achieving this.

“Like other local councils across the country, we will be ensuring all young adults leaving the care of the county council will be exempt from paying council tax until they are 21.  This will hopefully help them avoid debt and give them more time to learn how to manage their finances effectively.”