Council Tax and Care Leavers

When you find accommodation, one of your bills you will receive is council tax. Your local council requests council tax for the property you live in and even as care leaver, you are sometimes asked to pay the same amount as other people, unless you claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Concerns about finances, debt and money management affect many people, but studies have found that it can affect care leavers and those with care experience even more.

A recent study by The Centre for Justice has found that up to 57% of care leavers find it difficult to manage money and avoid debt. Similarly, care leavers revealed to The Joseph Rowntree Foundation that debt and the threat to their tenancies are amongst the biggest issues in their lives.

Falling behind on your council tax payments can be very serious and can cause a lot of stress. Councils sending overdue bill letters can make a lot of young people panic. With the escalation to court orders and eventually bailiffs, this can sometimes lead to care leavers becoming homeless.

The Campaign for Council Tax Exemption

A joint campaign by The Children’s Society and the Children’s Commissioner for England is asking councils to provide more financial support for care leavers. The campaign calls for councils in England to exempt care leavers from paying council tax up to the age of 25-years-old.

The campaign encourages councils to refocus their time, energy and money to help care leavers learn life skills that prepare them for independent living, and teach them about managing their money and dealing with finances.

How to support the Campaign

Visit the Children’s Society’s website to get involved and give yourself a fairer start to adulthood.

How much is Council Tax?

The amount of Council Tax you pays depends on:

  1. Your property’s valuation band
  2. Your personal circumstances
  3. Current council budget needs

Use the Which? 2018 council tax calculator to find the amount charged for your local council. Just enter your postcode below: