Foster carers to be exempted from council tax in Greenwich

Greenwich Council tax bill
Council tax bills will go up in April, but foster carers will be exempt

Foster carers will be exempted from council tax under plans to be voted on by Greenwich councillors next week.

A 100 per cent discount will be applied to bills for foster carers and shared lives households – carers who house adults with learning disabilities or mental health problems – from April.

Greenwich will follow Southwark, Islington and other councils in effectively scrapping council tax for foster carers.

Care leavers who are under 25 have been exempt from council tax since 2017, and a proposal to go before the council’s cabinet on Wednesday says extending the discount to foster carers would “extend support to those among the most vulnerable in our community”.

The proposal is contained in what are otherwise technical documents which assess how many of the borough’s 121,000 households will need to pay council tax in the next financial year.

What the documents do not say is how much council tax bills will actually cost. For the next financial year councils are limited to raising bills by 3 per cent – including 1 per cent for adult social care.

However, the precept levied by City Hall is due to rise by 9.5 per cent to provide additional funds for Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police.

Exempting foster carers will affect 89 households, while Greenwich is predicting it will get new income from 1,700 homes being built in the borough.

Since 2020, residents on low incomes have also received 100 per cent discounts, a measure the council predicts will help over 18,700 households in the coming year.

Owners of homes that have been empty for up to five years will see their council tax doubled. Between five and 10 years, rates treble and while those owning homes that have been empty for over a decade will see rates quadruple.

The proposals are due to be approved by Greenwich Council’s cabinet next Wednesday before a full council meeting which is expected to do the same.

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