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St Helens Council extends Council Tax discount for care leavers

Article date - 26 February 2020

Members of St Helens Council’s Cabinet voted unanimously today (Wednesday 26 February) to extend a discretionary discount on Council Tax to all care leavers living in St Helens Borough.
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The original Discretionary Council Tax Discount Policy was set in February 2018 following a Children’s Society report that suggested young adults leaving care and becoming independent were being harmed and hindered by Council Tax charges.
It granted 100 per cent discount for care leavers who were under the care of St Helens Council when they became liable for Council Tax within the borough.
The report was reinforced by subsequent campaigns by the Children’s Society and the Children’s Commissioner for England.
Now members have agreed to extend the discount to all care leavers living in the borough, even if they were in the care of another council outside of St Helens. The discount is applied for a maximum of three years and ends on their 25th birthday.
A 25 per cent discretionary discount will also apply where there are two adults living in a property of which one is a care leaver.
Councillor Martin Bond, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Even with the support and outreach that we have in place, it can be incredibly difficult for these young adults leaving care to become or maintain their independence, so it’s great that we can now extend this offer of relief.”
Councillor Nova Charlton, Cabinet Member for Protecting Young People, added: “These young adults are people who may not have had the best start, who may have had to overcome significant challenges early in their lives, but who have bright futures ahead of them. That’s why we approved our original policy two years ago, and why we’re happy to support this decision to extend that support to every care leaver living in St Helens today.”