Council tax boost for care leavers

Thursday, 8 February 2024 06:00

By Guy Henderson Local Democracy Reporter

Care leavers in Exeter will not have to pay any council tax until they reach the age of 25.

The city council has endorsed a move which is spreading across Devon to exempt young people aged from 18 to 25 from the tax when they leave care. Devon County Council, the police and the fire service also back the move and will share the cost.
Nearly 90 per cent of people who responded to a public consultation were in favour.
Currently 161 people are eligible in Exeter, of whom 50 are liable to pay the tax. The cost of supporting them will be £24,836 a year based on current costs.
The city council’s share of that will be just over £2,000.
A report for the executive committee said: “Care leavers face the challenge of having to cope with the demands of living on their own at a young age including having to maintain a home and manage finances, without support from family, and in Exeter they are a particularly vulnerable group for council tax debt.”
Cllr Barbara Denning (Lab, Heavitree) said she had been pleased to see so many comments from the public supporting the initiative, and added: “It is pretty obvious that the people of Exeter support this, and understand the hardship these young care leavers face.”
Cllr Martin Pearce (Lab, Duryard and St James) went on: “It is really important that we as a council are adopting this as a formal policy position which will remain in place for ever.”

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