Securing the best start in life for our children and young people

Council Tax Exemption for Care Leavers


Manchester City Council, Birmingham City Council, Blackburn and Darwen Council, Bolton Council, Bury Council, Camden Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cumbria Council, Darlington Council, Doncaster Council, Dudley Council, Enfield Council, Greenwich Council, Halton Council, Hartlepool Council, Hounslow Council, Kingston upon Hull Council, Leicester City Council, Middlesbrough Council, Milton Keynes Council, North Tyneside Council, Oldham Council, Redbridge Council, Rochdale Council, Rotherham Council, Salford Council, Sandwell Council, Sefton Council, Slough Council, St Helens Council, Sunderland Council, Tameside Council, Wakefield Council, Warrington Council, Wigan Council, Wirral Council, Bath and North East Somerset Labour Group

When young people leave care and move to independent accommodation, they begin to manage their own budget fully for the first time. Many find themselves dealing with the challenges of living independently without the support of family to help them navigate them. Labour councillors take their responsibilities as corporate parents to children and young people in their care very seriously, and there are countless examples of good practice in ensuring they get the best start in life.

The Children’s Society report ‘Wolf At The Door’ revealed that council tax debt was a particularly frightening experience for care leavers. What can start out for many care leavers as falling slightly behind can very quickly escalate to a court summons and enforcement action being taken. As a result, many Labour councils have decided to make care leavers exempt from paying council tax until they turn 25 – this gives young people a few valuable years to learn how to manage their finances and have a better chance at avoiding problem debt in the future.

For instance, Labour councillors in Manchester City Council decided to make all care leavers exempt from paying any Council Tax until they reach the age of 25 - an increase in entitlement from the earlier decision to exempt until 21 in 2017. This decision means that up to 1000 young people in Manchester no longer have to pay Council Tax.

Over 60 Labour councils have introduced similar exemptions for care leavers – making up over 75% of all councils to have done so across the country. They include Birmingham, Blackburn and Darwen, Bolton, Bury, Camden, Cheshire West and Chester, Cumbria, Darlington, Doncaster, Dudley, Enfield, Greenwich, Halton, Hartlepool, Hounslow, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North Tyneside, Oldham, Redbridge, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Sefton, Slough, St Helens, Sunderland, Tameside, Wakefield, Warrington, Wigan and Wirral. Bath and North East Somerset Labour Group also got this policy passed through their Tory-run council.

The LGA Labour Group exists to fight the corner for Labour councillors at a national level, both within
the cross-party Local Government Association and with the Labour Party at Westminster. The Group provide a strong voice for Labour councillors and act as a platform for ideas and innovation for all those committed to an effective localist element to Labour politics and policies.

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