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Council tax discount for care leavers

Published: 12/07/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the introduction of a Council Tax discretionary discount for eligible care leavers when it meets on 17 July. Looked after children and care leavers are amongst the most vulnerable groups in society. The ‘Hidden Ambitions’ report, produced by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in March 2017, highlighted the difficulties that care leavers face in managing their money and paying bills (including payment of Council Tax), after leaving care. The Council has a responsibility to provide care leavers with the best future prospects available as care leaver’s transition from local authority care into independent living. Currently there are 75 Flintshire care leavers, 31 aged 16-18 and 44 aged 19-25. Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: “We want to introduce a new financial policy for care leavers, and agreement to provide a discount of up to 100% from the payment of Council Tax to care leavers, aged between 18 and 25, who reside in Flintshire. Managing budgets can be very challenging for most people, but even more so for care leavers as they move into adulthood and adjust to independent living by themselves or with others. We want it to take effect from 1 April this year as giving them this discount will be a really big help for them. The scheme covers all eligible care leavers living in Flintshire, irrespective of their care providing authority. “We will also provide the young people with user-friendly information so that they know what financial support they are entitled to get from the Council.” Welsh Government and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales are actively encouraging local authorities to adopt a discount scheme for care leavers. Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) also supports the introduction of the discount scheme.