I am proud to stand with campaigners in opposition to the Tory ‘two-child’ limit on benefits. This is a callous piece of legislation that affects the most vulnerable families. The law has led to cuts in the total amount of money that claimants of Child Tax Credits and Universal Credit can get. It means that claimants for these benefits will only receive payment for their first two children but not any subsequent children.
The Government’s own statistics show that over 600,000 families are effected by this policy. Research showed that almost all families affected by the limit had to cut down on essentials, such as food, medication, heating and clothing.
The Government framed this policy as a way of getting people back into work, but in 59% of the families affected by this policy, at least one parent was working. The only real impact of the ‘two-child’ limit is to push poor families into even deeper poverty, and making them suffer. Research from the Child Poverty Action Group found that, already, there are 4.1 million children living in poverty in the UK, and this is due to rise to 5.2 million within 3 years.
The Conservative Government is under-funding the NHS, the education system and local authorities that deliver social services, as well as child and adult services. The minimum wage hasn’t met the rise of inflation at any point during Tory governance. We are experiencing a mental health crisis in our hospitals and a housing crisis on our street. Legal aid has been cut to the point that it might as well not exist.
If this policy seeks to save money and get people back into work which can sustain their families, I ask where that money is being spent? Because it certainly isn’t on public infrastructure – perhaps it has something to do with the tax cuts the hyper-rich enjoy?
I will always oppose this appalling piece of legislation, as its only true aim is to keep poor families in poverty.