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Published, 10 October 2017

Council tax exemptions 'huge step' to reducing financial burden of care leavers

The Scottish Government has announced the law is to change to exempt all young care leavers from paying council tax.

CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) is part of the Scottish Care Leavers Covenant Alliance group and, with partners, has been campaigning for this change in legislation in recent months. Many local authorities have endorsed the Covenant, and it is supported by individual MSPs from all the main parties.

Joanne McMeeking, Head of Improving Care Experiences at CELCIS, said:

"The announcement by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, presents a fundamental change to law in making young care leavers exempt from paying council tax.

"Care leavers are particularly vulnerable when it comes to the financial demands of independent living. The impact of poverty on care leavers is well documented. One of our main concerns is how council tax debt can escalate quickly, increasing the pressure on care leavers.

"This is a huge step in reducing the financial burden on young care leavers in Scotland.

"The Scottish Care Leavers Covenant supports the principle that corporate parents will assume all care leavers are entitled to services, support and opportunities, up to their 26th birthday.

"This change in law is a fantastic example of corporate parenting in action."

Scottish Care Leavers Covenant website

Notes to Editors

Media enquiries:
Mike Findlay, CELCIS Communications Manager
T: 0141 444 8512
E: mike.findlay@strath.ac.uk