Report of the Group Director of Operations
The Group Director of Operations submitted a report (previously circulated) requesting a Council Tax exemption for care leavers under the age of 25 from 2023-24.
The submitted report stated that since 1 April 2018, a provision has been made in the Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme to provide care leavers under the age of 25 up to 100% support with their Council Tax costs, whereas all other working age people could only receive up to 80% support with their Council Tax costs under the CTS scheme. It was report that as the CTS is means-tested, some young care leavers still had some, or all, of their Council Tax costs to pay, depending on their income and other circumstances.
The submitted report proposed to replace the current provision in the CTS scheme for care leavers under the age of 25, with a full Council Tax exemption from 1 April 2023, and that this would be achieved using the Council’s powers under Section 13a of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (discretionary Council Tax discounts). It was reported that the financial implications of this change were considered to be minimal, given that most care leavers under the age of 25 already received support with their Council Tax costs through the CTS scheme.
RESOLVED - (a) That the contents of the report be noted.
(b) That the Council Tax exemption for care leavers under the age of 25 from 2023-24, be approved.
REASONS - (a)Darlington Borough Council has a responsibility to support young care leavers whilst they are developing the skills and confidence to live independently.
(b) A Council Tax exemption will provide young care leavers with the assurance and stability with their Council Tax costs.
(c) A Council Tax exemption will be much easier for the Council to administer than the current arrangements through the CTS scheme and for young care leavers to access and understand.