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Care leavers now exempt from paying council tax

Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to support young people leaving care by making them exempt from having to pay any council tax until they are 25 years old.

The move is intended to provide a helping hand as they learn to become more self-reliant and capable of living independently. It follows a 2015 report from the Children’s Society which recognises that care leavers are particularly vulnerable to the risk of falling into debt.

Council Leader Huw David said:

“Managing finances can be a daunting prospect for any 18 year old who is tackling it for the first time, but for someone leaving care who doesn’t have support from their parents, it is a particularly challenging experience.

“We have decided to amend our council tax discount scheme so that care leavers will be completely exempt until they reach 25 years of age.

“This is a permanent commitment by Bridgend County Borough Council as corporate parents and we hope that it will give young people leaving our care a stronger start as they adapt to living independently.”

Deputy Leader Hywel Williams added: “The council is developing a range of additional support for care leavers to help them find employment, training opportunities, high quality accommodation and more.

“We are also offering supported living options, improved residential care and the ‘when I am ready’ scheme which enables them to stay with their foster carers for longer as they make the transition into becoming independent.”