Young care leavers to benefit from free council tax

From April, young people leaving care in Merton will no longer have to pay council tax thanks to a decision by the council’s Cabinet.

At a meeting on Monday Cabinet agreed to amend their council tax reduction policy to support care leavers in Merton up to the age of 25 and make them exempt from paying council tax. Full Council will also be asked to agree this at their meeting on 6 February.

The decision builds on a campaign by the national charity The Children’s Society, which has previously called for care leavers up to the age of 21 to be exempt from paying council tax.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Kelly Braund, said: “As a council we aim to make this borough a great place for families. Care leavers are our family and we are passionate about making sure that they are afforded the same care, security and stability as any parent would want for their child.”

“The transition into adulthood for people leaving care can be harder than for other young people in the borough. As they learn how to manage their money and develop a life of their own, we want to give them the best start that we can. As their corporate parent, we feel that the council tax exemption is a great way to help them in their journey towards independence, and I’m very pleased that we can offer this support.”