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Tower Hamlets drops its council tax for teenagers leaving their care

PUBLISHED: 12:15 26 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:10 26 July 2017

Tower Hamlets waves council tax for young care leavers. Picture: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets waves council tax for young care leavers. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Teenagers leaving care homes and going into the adult world are to be excempt from Tower Hamlets council tax until they are 25, the local authority decided last night.

Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs... 'Those leaving our care struggle with finances moving to independence'.
Picture: Mike BrookeCllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs... 'Those leaving our care struggle with finances moving to independence'. Picture: Mike Brooke

It follows a plea by the Children’s Society that those leaving care often struggle to make ends meet because they don’t have family support.

The council “has responsibility as ‘corporate parents’ to improve their life chances”, cabinet members heard.

“We want them have the best transition into adult life,” Cllr Amy Whitelock Gibbs agreed. “Those leaving our care struggle with finances while moving to independence.”

A relatively small cost to the council can prevent them falling into debt and financial hardship.

Cllr David Edgar said: “This is about helping a group of young adults leaving care who won’t have the help others take for granted. They deserve this support from the council.”

The tax exception was agreed in order to remove “one of the financial pressures of starting out in life”.

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