Care leavers will be exempt from Council Tax until the age of 25 under a new proposal going before Oldham Council’s cabinet on Monday night.
The measure, which is being brought forward by cabinet member for finance and deputy leader, Cllr Abdul Jabbar, is supported by The Children’s Society.
It extends a previous ruling, introduced in 2017, which made care leavers exempt from Council Tax until the age of 21 and means that, if they were living in a standard Band A property, care leavers effectively get £1,266.39 back in their pockets.
The measure will be applied this year, if supported by councillors.
Ahead of the crucial meeting on Monday, Cllr Jabbar said: “Most of us will know someone who has been through the care system and we know that means a tough start to life.
“However, through our extensive work in this area, we know that, if given the right support, care leavers can thrive.
“This is one of those support mechanisms that can make a small difference to ensuring care leavers are not living in poverty when they become adults and have to make their own way in life.
“We’ve got a number of care leavers working at Oldham Council and in the community who are doing fantastic things and we work extensively with our Children in Care Council and take on board advice from agencies like The Children’s Society who have supported councils in introducing this fantastic initiative.
“They have informed my decision on this and, while this doesn’t affect a lot of people and won’t cost the earth, it could make a life-changing difference.”
The national campaign to extend the discount followed a decision by the Government in 2018 which extended local authorities’ corporate parenting responsibilities to the age of 25.
It had previously only extended to the age of 21 so, The Children’s Society and others argued, the discount should also be extended.
It is estimated the measure will cost around £60,000 a year.
Monday’s meeting takes place at 6am and is available to watch online at www.oldham.gov.uk with further coverage available at @OldhamCouncil on Twitter.