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Care Leavers helped with Council Tax Exemption

March 22, 2018 11:35 AM

Stressed about debtCare leavers in Torbay are set to benefit from a change in the council tax system from this April. Following a motion at Council in February 2017 the local authority agreed to exempt them from council tax for the first few years of their lives.

The Paignton Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Doggett, who proposed the original motion, said: "There are approximately 200 care leavers in Torbay at present. By adopting this motion, Torbay will give these vulnerable young people a better start into adulthood and protect these and future leavers from debt charges, especially council tax.

"The Children's Society's ' Wolf At The Door' 2016 report into such debt showed that the pace of growth of debt to local authorities could be frightening to care leavers, and can escalate very quickly into a court summons and enforcement action being taken. Once they turn eighteen, young people leave care and become responsible for the challenges of independent living, running a home, managing personal finances and paying bills. Some former care leavers told the Children's Society that they had no idea what council tax was, or indeed that they had to pay it."

The motion was seconded by Councillor Cindy Stocks.