YOUNG people between the ages of 18 and 25 leaving care in Caerphilly will no longer have to pay council tax.

Caerphilly County Borough Council has become the latest Welsh authority to make care leavers exempt from council tax payments.

The move is aimed to support people as they make the move from care into independent accommodation.

From April 1, those aged between 18 and 25 leaving care will now be considered a specified class under the council’s council tax discretionary reduction policy.

If a care leaver lives in a house but is not liable for council tax purposes, those liable will be able to apply for a reduction if the presence of the care leaver increases the amount of council tax payable.

Similar arrangements will be made for those leaving another council’s care to live in Caerphilly.

Torfaen County Borough Council became the first in Wales to freeze council tax payments for care leavers aged between 16 and 21 – and up to 25 in certain cases – last October.

And on Wednesday, Caerphilly cabinet members adopted their own policy, with Cllr Barbara James describing the issue as something “close to her heart”.

Council leader Cllr David Poole added: “Leaving care must be a traumatic time for young people and especially getting into a world where they have little knowledge of money matters.”

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Carl Cuss, cabinet member for social care and wellbeing and chair of the corporate parenting group, also welcomed the decision.

He said: “This provides additional support to allow care leavers to move into independent accommodation. This is a time of their lives when care leavers transitioning into adulthood can face challenges in terms of managing money for the first time without family support and I welcome any additional support that we, as a council, can provide.”