YOUNG adults leaving the care system in the borough have been handed an extra boost from the town hall.

The local authority has joined several Greater Manchester counterparts in raising the age at which care leavers are required to pay council tax to 25.

Town halls across the city region – including Manchester and Trafford – made the move last year and council bosses previously said it was "under consideration" for the borough.

Wigan has now followed suit with council lead member for children, Cllr Jenny Bullen, saying it will provide further support for those moving into independent living.

She added: “Care leavers are among the most vulnerable groups in our community but also have many individual skills and talents that benefit our communities in many ways and we want to make sure that we support them to make best use of these.

“As corporate parents and through our commitment in The Deal, the council wants to ensure that young people’s experiences of leaving care and moving into independent living are positive and improve their life chances – just as any parent does.”

Last year the Children’s Society charity said raising the exemption age would "give these young people a few valuable years to learn how to manage their finances and have a better chance at avoiding problem debt in the future".

Care leavers who are in further education or training are already exempt from paying council tax in the borough.

Cllr Bullen added: “We are committed to offering support to our care leavers and are pleased to announce that we have raised the age to 25-years-old, where all care leavers will be exempt from paying council tax along with any care leaver who is in further education or training.”