Shocking new data shows that single parents and families with disabled children are impacted by 2-child limit

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We worked with the Observer newspaper to highlight shocking new figures which show that some of the most vulnerable families are hardest hit by the two-child limit to benefit payments. You can read the full article here.

We already know that the two-child limit impacts 1.5 million children, that is 1 in ever 10 children – a shockingly high number. And that 422,000 households are impacted by this policy, half of these being single parent households. But little is known about what types of families are having their benefit payment capped as a result of this policy.

Via Freedom of Information requests we asked the relevant government departments for more information on the types of families who are hardest hit by this policy. The results were shocking.

We now know that:

  • 20% of all households impacted by the two-child limit are families with at least one disabled child, that is just over 87,500 households
  • 25% of all families impacted by the two-child limit are single-parent households, with a child under 3

These families lose out on up to £3,455 per child a year.

The justification given for imposing this limit to benefit payments on families is that they are being ‘asked to make the same financial decisions as families supporting themselves solely through work’.

Yet we already know that 59% of families impacted have at least one working parent. And these new figures revel families for whom work may not be possible. For example, single parents with children under 3 years old would not be required to look for work as part of their Universal Credit requirements.

Rosie, a single mum of three children, whose benefit payments are reduced by this policy said;

“We often hear that the two-child limit is a necessary policy, because it ensures that families like mine have to make the same financial choices as families who are in work. Yet I work, and still this cap is applied to my benefit payments. I am a single parent. There will only ever be one salary coming into my home, and still the cap is applied to my benefit payments.

 “When my son was born I had to make some hard choices. Because of the lack of money coming in to our household I had to leave him at 6 months old – and go and wash dishes in a restaurant. Just to ensure that we had money coming in. As my children got older, and went to school we have struggled with everyday costs like food and bills. If my wifi goes off because I can’t afford the bill then my children’s homework suffers. What might seem to some to be little things like this, can have a big impact on my children.”

In this election year we are calling for all political parties to scrap this cruel policy which pushes families into poverty. 


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