Care leavers could get extra help with council tax

Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance

Young people who are leaving care, and on a low income in Dudley, could soon be getting extra help with paying their council tax.

Council chiefs are to consider the proposals next week, which will see some young care leavers getting the additional help until they reach the age of 25.

In 2013 councils were given responsibility for setting their own localised council tax reduction (CTR)schemes, to replace the national council tax benefit (CTB) system, to support low income residents.

For 2018/19 the council is proposing to introduce a new 'vulnerable category' for care leavers aged 18 to 24 to its CTR scheme. 

The means-tested reduction will see some care leavers under the age of 25 see their council tax reduced, with some potentially paying nothing. Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:

“For young people who are leaving care, and on low incomes, there is already a huge range of challenges they face, so we want to support them as much as we can.

“Reducing, or even removing in some cases, their council tax will give them a helping hand to cover other costs they may face as they make the move from care to independence.

“I'm delighted we’re proposing this new category to our council tax reduction scheme to support these young people up until they're 25 as they start out life as young adults.”

The report also proposes that qualifying claimants in receipt of council tax reduction (apart from those in the new ‘vulnerable category’) may see an increase in the minimum council tax they will pay, from 22 per cent to 23 per cent of their total bill. This would mean an increase of 18p per week for a band B property. 

The report goes before cabinet on July 19 and, if approved, the proposals will go out to public consultation.


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