Care leavers in Merton are set to get a helping hand to pay their council tax.

In response to a campaign by The Children’s Society, Merton Council will reduce the amount paid by care leavers until they are 25.

This will be done on a case by case basis for those who are not already exempt from paying council tax.

There are currently 165 Merton care leavers up to 25 years old, of which 85 still live in the borough.

Of the 85 living in Merton, 49 live in properties where it is not their responsibility to pay council tax.

And of the 36 remaining, 21 already have support in paying council tax so are exempt from the charge.

It is expected that this will cost the council a maximum of £12,700 a year.

A campaign by The Children’s Society pointed out that care leavers are a vulnerable group for council tax debt, recommending they should be exempt until at least the age of 21.

A report set to be considered by the council’s cabinet on Monday (January 14) says: “Care leavers who were looked after by a local authority rather than their parents are amongst the most vulnerable groups in our community.

“Outcomes for this group are generally poor and, as corporate parents, the council wants to keep them safe, make sure their experiences leaving care and moving into independent living are positive and improve their ongoing life chances.”

Cabinet will meet at Merton Civic Centre from 7.15pm.