Care Leavers set to get Council Tax discount

(Pic: Jaggery via BBC Wales)

It’s the end of the month and that means the monthly Bridgend Council cabinet and full council meetings are set to take place.

First up is a report on the possible introduction of a council tax discount for care leavers in Bridgend (pdf), which will be discussed by the cabinet and will go to full council for approval on Wednesday (23rd March).

A 2015 report from The Children’s Society said care leavers were particularly vulnerable to building up council tax debt, mainly because they’re budgeting for themselves for the first time.

Local authorities have the power to apply discounts to an individual or specific groups of cases and BCBC have recommended doing so for care leavers.

To be eligible, the person must:

  • Be aged 21 or under.
  • Live in Bridgend county.
  • Have been in local council care for at least thirteen weeks from the ages of 14-16.
  • Be fully or jointly liable in their own right to pay council tax and not already in receipt of a full Council Tax Reduction.

The numbers of people who would benefit from this are said to be small – estimated to be no more than 22 at the moment. It’s also expected the cost of the discount will be no more than £20,000, working out at about £909 per eligible person.

If the council votes in favour next week, the discount will apply from April 1st 2018.

Despite this, any council tax arrears prior to 1st April will still need to be repaid as part of an agreed repayment plan.

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