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Lift the 2-child limit

by Michael Ford last modified 07 May, 2020 03:57 PM

Lift the 2-child limit on benefits in wake of coronavirus pandemic, report urges.

The Government is being urged to lift the two-child limit in the wake of a sharp rise in new claims for Universal Credit caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in a new report published today.

Read it here.

An estimated 230,000 families and 860,000 children have been affected over the past 3 years by the 2-child limit, which prevents parents from claiming Universal Credit or child tax credit for a 3rd or subsequent child born from April 6 2017, according to a joint Church of England and Child Poverty Action Group report.

In addition to this, around 60,000 families who have made a new claim for Universal Credit, having lost their jobs or seen a drop in their income since the start of the lockdown, will also be subject to the 2-child limit, the report estimates.

Survey findings in the report, of 974 families who were claiming Universal Credit or tax credits and were affected by the 2-child limit, mostly before the coronavirus outbreak, found widespread evidence of hardship.

The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said:

“Whilst acknowledging the significant decisions made to improve support through Universal Credit in the wake of the coronavirus, we must highlight that families affected by the 2-child limit are among the worst affected by the economic fallout of this pandemic – denied support for their children when they need it most.

“At a time like this, we understand more than ever that life is unpredictable, and that it is important to help one another through difficult times. The Government should lift the 2-child limit and protect all children.”

The full report can be found here.

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