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Council tax break for Woking young care leavers

money budget

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 1:39pm 12th February 2018. (Updated at 2:48pm 12th February 2018)

Young people leaving care in Woking will soon be exempt from paying Council Tax until their 25th birthday following a unanimous vote last week.

A meeting of Council agreed to support the motion aimed at helping young care leavers who live in the Borough.

Cllr Forster, said: "I am delighted that the Council backed my motion. The reasoning behind this is simple. Care leavers have some of the worse life chances in the country.

"Twenty per cent of young homeless people have previously been in care, 24 per cent of the adult prison population has been in care, 70 per cent of sex workers have been in care and only six per cent of care leavers are in higher education by the time they turn 19 years of age."

Cllr David Bittleston, Leader of Woking Borough Council, who seconded the motion, added: “Although taking care leaves out of the Council Tax system is not a silver bullet to the challenges they face, it is a step in the right direction towards helping these young people make a successful transition out of care.

"By investing in our young people now, we can help prevent more costly interventions in the future."

Charity The Children's Society has made recommendations to local authorities to take young care leavers out of council tax, helping them to successfully transition into adulthood.

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said: “Care leavers have often experienced a really difficult upbringing and they may have experienced abuse, neglect or family breakdown which can have a big impact upon their life chances.

“Without the family support most young people get as they become adults, care leavers often struggle to juggle their household bills and make ends meet. Many find themselves in debt, or having to go without food or other basic necessities."

 

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